A Somali-born Muslim imam in Australia, Nur Warsame, who is holding a prominent Islamic leadership position has come out to announce that he is gay, the SBS Australia reports.
The well-respected and famous leader was married at one time and has a daughter. The leader told SBS programme that “Reconciling spirituality with sexuality is a very difficult journey.”
His reason for making it public, he says, is to make a clear path for other young queer Muslims to live their lives to the fullest and to hold on to their spirituality. Nur told The Feed:
“My intentions are to try to make a difference in Muslim homes.”
— SBS Australia (@SBS) May 3, 2016
Nur Warsame, a highly esteemed man in Australia’s Islamic community has lived for his religion for decades. He has held firmly onto the secret, which he opted to reveal for the first time, and that could make him pay with his life, according to the tenets of the Islamic religion.
Nur’s decision to announce his sexuality has attracted praises from some Muslim gays in Australia. According to them, his courage in publicly declaring his sexuality will make it easier for others to be open with their sexuality.
Nur Warsame in an interview said:
“There’s the name of the family you have to protect, the name of the community you come from…
“The reason it’s difficult for people to come out in the Muslim world or Islamic communities is because the losses are too high, the risks are too great, I mean there is even a risk to your life because the conservative school of thought in Islam to counter homosexuality is to be killed, that’s your repentance.
When I decided to do this, I really analysed and thought carefully of the consequences.
While he apparently puts his life on a sticky patch, the leader said he did it to save others from dying in silent. In Somalia where Nur comes from and in most of the Islamic world, it is immoral to practice homosexuality.
The crime attracts life punishment or death penalty with imprisonment at the very least. A minimum of seven Muslim countries kill defaulters and numerous Australian Muslims are also against homosexuality. Nur says he is quite aware of the consequences and according to him,
“I can’t see the future or what’s going to happen however there is that element of extremism in our community so I am very cautious and I’m not one who’s easily intimidated,” .
“And I have resources in place for safety and protection so I don’t walk into a storm unless I know which direction the wind is travelling.”
A Muslim Imam is a worship leader of a mosque and Muslim community by Sunni Muslims. Imams may lead Islamic worship services, serve as community leaders, and provide religious guidance. For Shi’a Muslims, the imam has a more central role in Islam through the concept of Imamah.