The United Nations Resolution 17/19 on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals Rights (LGBTs): An Open Letter to the Prime Minister


Dear Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak,

On 14th February 2012, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues had written a letter to the President of the Human Rights Council, Geneva, H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, to explain the position taken by the Member States of the OIC concerning Resolution 17/19 (on LGBT Rights) and their reservation on the subsequent Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” scheduled to be held on 7th of March 2012 during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council.

The letter contained, among others, the concerns of OIC States pertaining to the “introduction in the Human Rights Council controversial notions like ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’” and “the attempt to introduce in the United Nations concepts that have no legal foundation in any international human rights instruments”. The letter also highlighted the OIC States’ apprehension on the “attempts to create controversial “new notions” and “new standards” by misinterpreting the UDHR and international treaties”. Furthermore, the Panel will discuss issues that “relate to personal behavior and preferences, and have nothing to do with fundamental human rights”.

We wish to commend Malaysia for aligning herself with the OIC Member States’ wise position by voting against Resolution 17/19. We also wish to reiterate the views held by the majority of Malaysian Islamic NGOs on this matter, made clear vide our media statement on 1st March 2012, in which we stated that Resolution 17/19 would be legitimizing casual, pre-marital and unnatural sex and give LGBTs a legal standing, something which goes against the teachings of Islam as the religion of the Federation; and threatens the human civilization as a whole. As you are positioning your leadership to become the patron of “moderate Islam”, please do not forget that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights can never possibly represent the entire Muslim community of nearly two billion souls on this earth.

Please recall that every major religion designates any same-gender sexual activity as against natural human indications. Same-gender marriage would be even more diabolical, from our point of view. For example, a large billboard in San Diego, California, reads, “Sell Your Baby” and gives a telephone number.

Upon viewing this billboard, local people had to explain to the writer that it was not against any law, rather, it was a means for granting the male homosexual partners who dominated that particular neighborhood the “natural human right” to build a family, even though they could not themselves procreate.

When a former Vice-President of the USA had a lesbian daughter who found a randomly available man to impregnate her so that she and her lady sexual partner could have a family, this Vice-President replied similarly that it was a “human right” for people to have families.

And to bring the issue closer to home, when a certain young Western tourist was walking home to his hotel after visiting “Hard Rock Cafe”, he noticed a number of attractive women following him through the streets. By the time he reached his hotel, he was laughing rather heartily after he had seen that these were not women at all. They were cross-dressers trying to capture him sexually.

And of course, the Malaysian judicial system was sorely tested by this allegation of unnatural sex against Anwar Ibrahim, whose case is still pending appeal by the prosecution. And although he has been exonerated for the present, it is more than likely that his “case” will return. It is sad to see how our ASEAN neighbors laugh at and deride Malaysian politics for obsessing on this issue.

In essence, neither Malaysia nor any other Muslim-majority country has the right to co-sign the UN Resolution, which follows secular liberal western standards in permitting sexual alliances of the sort mentioned above. By doing this, the United Nations sequesters itself as a purveyor of pagan values that it is trying by every available force (especially economic) to impose on the two billion Muslims who inhabit this world. The UN is trying to make “halal” what Allah the Almighty has clearly rendered “haram”, one of the biggest sins Muslims can commit.

Please remember, Dato’ Seri, that even a certain Christian in their Old Testament of the Bible was castigated for practicing forbidden forms of sexual self-stimulation. His name now appears in Webster’s Dictionary as “Onanism”.

The Qur’anic verse concerning Prophet Luth (a.s) conveys exactly the same message, if not stronger and clearer. The community which Prophet Luth lead, including his own wife, permitted and encouraged male homosexual coupling, and so they were all destroyed, even though warned against such practices by the Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). If you find homosexuals amongst Buddhists or Hindus, it will surely be at least “behind closet doors”, in other words, discrete and kept secret, as they used to be in the USA before “human rights” became an exaggerated political issue.

So what is to be done? For one thing, policy formation in Malaysia must include respected Muslim scholars who can articulate the correct Islamic position on this matter, and whose opinions be included in the results of present-day meetings and conferences trying to deal with the issue in Muslim life, which exists in virtually every so-called “Muslim” polity. Those representing the Islamic NGOs must be adequately resourced and given the opportunities to enable proper and effective articulation of the Islamic views on issues such as LGBT rights, at every regional and international forum that has Malaysian interests.

And make no mistake, Dato’ Seri. If this issue is NOT dealt with, Malaysia will never become an example of “moderate” or any other kind of Islam. So in order to nurture Malaysia’s potential as a true leader in the Muslim Ummah, it will be necessary for the right Muslim scholars and experts to guide you in responding to the LGBT problem (both male and female) with intelligence, sophistication, and sensitivity to human problems.

Medical views sometimes point out the dominance of female hormones such as estrogen in the male homosexual make-up (or vice-versa, testosterone among women), or they point out how difficult, indeed almost impossible it is, to correct such behavior by means of psychotherapy. These medical people thereby excuse their homosexual patients from a truly universal “human rights”, in which male and female are ordered to populate the earth with their progeny through the institution of marriage.

It is not hormones that induce males to take up with other males instead of the females to whom they are not attracted. It is lack of religious guidance and proper understanding of its world view and role in life, and in particular, a deficiency in “Taqwa”, which, as pointed out in Ibn Juzayy’s dictionary of Quranic words: Kitâb at-tashîl li `ulûm at-tanzîl, implies “fear, clinging to obedience to Allah and abandoning disobedience to Him. It is the sum of all good.”

Let us draw an image. When the male Muslims of an area gather at their mosque to perform the fajr prayers in congregation (“Jama’ah), however inconvenient, it is as if a military “parade dress” has taken place, in which solidarity of the males undertake to work and protect their families during the coming day, and promise to do so by witness of those many angels Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) has told us witness this prayer especially.

Dato’ Seri, please allow Allah’s angels to do their work. Please allow them to account that Malaysian Muslims are willing to commit themselves to the truly Muslim way, which has this military element of protecting home and hearth built into it, and which the LGBTs betray much as the traitors in any military organization. Polygamous husbands are held to certain legal and spiritual standards in front of their previous wives. LGBTs fall completely outside of such standards, and should, if they insist and also care not what their status may be in the Akhirat (Afterlife), be constantly reminded and guided to return to their original human disposition. We cannot have religious leaders claiming to be “Moderate Muslims” on this issue.

AZRIL MOHD AMIN is vice president, Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Malaysia

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