France: ‘Mosque for gays’ with mixed prayer groups to be opened in Paris

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A mosque aimed specifically at gay people, and which would provide mixed gender prayer groups, is set to open in Paris at the end of November.

Mohammed Ludovic Lütfi Zahed, a gay muslim, plans to open his mosque in the hall of a Buddhist chapel on 30 November, in which men and women will be able to perform their prayers together, reports the Hürriyet Daily News.

When asked if the mosque would perform same-sex wedding ceremonies, he said: “We will start with Friday prayers, but we will perform marriages afterwards.”

In an interview with the newspaper, which is based in Turkey, he described it as a “mosque for gays,” discussing the reasons he wanted to open it, he said:

“In normal mosques, women have to sit in the back seats and wear a headscarf and gay men are afraid of both verbal and physical aggression,

“After performing the Hajj, I realised that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers.”

He also discussed his personal life and the problems he encountered being gay and muslim. He said:

“After my first night with a man, I realised that I was gay. I have found out that I had been pushing down my feelings with the help of Islam.”

Same-sex marriage, and adoption, are hot topics in France at the moment.

On 7 November, French President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and allow gay couples to adopt.

There have been large scale protests for and against the bill, and most recently, Francois Hollande, suggested that mayors who oppose equal marriage should be allowed to personally opt-out from pending legislation.