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Sharia, Homosexuality and LGBT Rights in the Muslim World

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 23 July, 2013

Yet it seems that there is a certain “privileged” connection between Islam and the repression of homosexuality. All five states that currently punish same-sex relations by the death penalty are Sharia-compliant: Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and Sudan.9 The death penalty is also applied in the northern region of Nigeria, which has predominantly Muslim populations, and the southern parts of Somalia.10 The most brutal punishments, including lashes and public stoning, as well as arbitrary executions, also occur in Muslim-majority states (namely, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Malaysia).11 Some of the Islamic states that impose life imprisonment do so on the basis of the Sharia injunctions (for example, Maldives).12 Even the most “tolerant” states still punish the offense of “unnatural intercourse” (Bangladesh). 13 Furthermore, the Muslim-majority states that criminalize same sex relationships have also proved to have the highest levels of homophobia and intolerance towards sexual diversity.