Malaysian Muslim authority says ‘training & guidance’ can reverse homosexuality (VIDEO)
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) released the three-minute video encouraging the Islamic community to ‘be patient’ and help those who wish to change their sexual orientation with “extensive training and guidance”, according to the Malay Mail Online.
In Malaysia, a predominantly Islamic country, homosexual activity and changing gender are illegal under both state courts and Sharia law.
Jakim urged gay people to repent their homosexuality and to fulfil their sexual desires through marriage and fasting.
A 2015 report by the Human Rights Watch said “discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is pervasive in Malaysia.”
The report went on to say that “transgender persons face arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, imprisonment, discriminatory denial of healthcare and employment, and other abuses.”
The video has received mixed feedback from its thousands of viewers on Facebook. Some have commended Jakim for taking a more accepting approach toward the Islamic LGBT community:
“Color me surprised with rainbow colors. JAKIM actually came out with a video that is non-hateful of the LGBT community,” wrote Luq Harith.
“Not impressed with the content but kudos to JAKIM for focusing on not being hateful or violent towards LGBTQ people,” wrote Huda Mutalib.
Others criticized the organization for encouraging reparative therapy and suggesting a person’s sexual orientation can be changed.
“This video is going to make people believe that there is a way to 'change' homosexuals into heterosexuals. No way you can do that,” wrote Sheelabanu Sri Jaya.
“We set such a low bar for Muslims to get them to act like decent human beings. Calling for reparative therapy is not exactly good intentions, let alone genuine respect that LGBTQI people should live their lives the way they want it to be,” wrote Zulaikha Mohammad.
“So JAKIM's strategy is to use compassion to lure Muslim LGBT to the 'right' path while enacting anti-LGBT syariah laws to punish and ruin the lives of those who decide to follow their heart and their own conviction,” wrote Raymond Tai.