Grand Mufti Shawki Allam of Egypt condemned the Orlando massacre and said that harming LGBTQ individuals is unacceptable in the eyes of Islam, even though homosexuality is still considered a sin.
Mr. Allam stated during a recent interview that "even if we view homosexuality as a religious sin, that does not give anyone the freedom to injure another person in any way. Each person is equally inviolable. What happened in Orlando is totally unacceptable.”
This signals an important shift in how moderate Muslims in the Middle East are reacting to these instances of global terrorism and hate crimes under the name of Islamic extremist factions.
The grand mufti holds one of the most influential positions of religious authority in Egypt and beyond, playing a vital role in determining stances within religious law. While Egypt does not have specific laws banning or criminalizing homosexuality, the police continually cracks down on the LGBTQ community with immorality and public indecency laws, causing many to remain in hiding or in the closet.
Watch Shawki Allam in an exclusive interview with CNN from last year, in which he decries the inhuman treatment of a Jordanian pilot captured and killed by QSIS.