Al-Azhar, Egypt’s leading authority on Sunni Islam, accused “international organisations” of controlling the ongoing global campaign supporting gay marriage.
The institution said this was occurring through the use of all means of mass communication and the “recruitment” of famous personalities, in order to promote and praise homosexuality.
“Gayness is not a victory to human rights, it is on the contrary a deterioration, and definitely a crime to humanity, and a distortion of the freedom of human rights,” Al-Azhar stated.
In a statement released Thursday and published by state-run news agency MENA, Al-Azhar said that this “unethical campaign is conducted by suspicious institutions executing a diabolic plan against human values and morals of all religions”.
The renowned Islamic institution was not the only one slamming worldwide celebrations of the gay marriage law that was approved in the US at the end of June. Only a day after the US legalised gay marriage, Bishop Rafael of Egypt’s Coptic Church said that homosexuals are deviations, require treatment and can be cured by ‘God’s grace’.
Al-Azhar’s statement ‘warned’ against the promotion of gay marriage in Egypt, considering homosexuality an “abnormality”.
Homosexuals in Egypt, whether local or foreign, have been prosecuted despite there being no existing legal text criminalising homosexuality. They are often charged with “deceiving public morals”, and are subject to degrading treatment and medical examinations whilst in detention.
In November 2014, eight men were handed prison sentences for appearing in a same sex-marriage video that went viral on social media networks. The two men, who are seen in the video celebrating their marriage on a boat, were also charged with “inciting debauchery”.
Egypt’s Administrative Court ruled last April to uphold a Ministry of Interior decision to deport a man due to allegations of his homosexuality. This move affirmed the right of the ministry to deport and ban homosexual foreigners from Egypt.