Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia comments on his country’s position on homosexuality

Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, said on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, that homosexuality is “one of the most heinous and ugliest crimes,” in the second criticism of a senior Islamic cleric, days after Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

Saudi Arabia had misgivings about a draught resolution on democracy that was then submitted to the United Nations General Assembly on December 17.

According to a statement read out by its permanent representative, Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, it includes specific pledges on “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“But unfortunately, we did not find a rational response,” Al-Moualli said at the time, adding that the draught wording of the judgment had been debated and that references to identity and sexual orientation that had not been agreed upon in earlier rulings had been eliminated.

“Saudi Arabia’s attitude is consistent with its reservation to the text of the United Nations resolution because of the non-agreed terms of identity and sexual orientation, and its incompatibility with its historical Arab and Islamic identity,” the Saudi Mufti said at the time.

He further mentioned that “In the eyes of God Almighty, homosexuality is one of the most horrible and ugly crimes. God Almighty despises the perpetrators of these acts, describing them as disgusting and disgraceful in this world and the next.”

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, issued a statement on Sunday, December 19, denouncing what he called a “Western cultural invasion” aimed at “legalizing homosexuality and sexual alteration” in eastern societies.

This invasion, he said at the time, is “a violation of humanity’s and life’s freedom to continue as Nature intended a double interpretation of human rights, and an infringement on the East’s right to follow the religion.”

Mohamed Aboutrika, a former Egyptian footballer, denounced the English Premier League’s (Premier League) support for “gay rights” by promoting the colors of the “rainbow” that express them at the end of November.

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