Syed Jawed Anwar
I was shocked when I heard the news that Tanya Granic Allen (a prominent activist against sex-ed curriculum and a candidate for last PC leadership race) was removed as Ontario PC party candidate by Doug Ford during June 2018 election campaign. It was May 5, 2018, five weeks after my heart bypass surgery and more than one month before the election. She was no longer the PC candidate from the Mississauga Centre riding. The allegation was her “irresponsible” comments on the homosexual lifestyle.
It was extremely disturbing. Questions were blasting in my mind:
Do we no more have the right to religious beliefs and practices and the freedom to say and preach whatever we believe?
Do the fundamental freedoms of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF) --(a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression-- have no meaning?
Does CCRF apply only to those who have transgender and homosexual lifestyles?
Doug Ford read a statement: “Tanya Granic Allen will no longer be a candidate for the Ontario PC Party. We are a party comprised of people with diverse views that if expressed responsibly we would respect.”
Doesn’t it mean that “respect” belongs to only those who have a particular lifestyle and no more applies to those who believe that homosexuality is a major sin, a disgusting practice inviting God’s wrath, and a journey towards extinction of the most precious specie of this world --the human being?
Anyone who believe in any religion and has a book of guidance from God knows that homosexuality is one of the greatest sins. Religious people believe in God and His guidance and reject all the pieces of documents that contradicts and violates the basic belief and faith.
It is no secret that having a point of view against homosexuality is termed as “homophobia”.
Modern dictionary defines ‘homophobe’ as ‘a person who fears or hates homosexuals and homosexuality’.
We as a religious group don’t hate homosexuals but hate homosexuality. As a spiritual doctor, one hates the disease, not the patient. And all religious groups and leaders believe that homosexuality is a spiritual disease and a great sin. We wouldn’t like to be called “homophobe”, but we are the people who believe homosexuality a major sin.
The questions arise:
Are you going to ban all religious books that are “homophobic” according to your definition?
Is there any religious book that allows “homosexuality”?
Are you going to ban the names of prophets and messengers who campaigned against this lifestyle?
First, check what Jewish and Christian Bibles say about homosexuality:
JEWISH BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT):
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is abomination” (Leviticus 18: 22).
“If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20: 13).
CHRISTIAN BIBLE (NEW TESTAMENT):
“But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ‘And the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together let not man separate” (Mark 10: 6-9).
"Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1: 27-32).
“And we sent Lut (Lot) as a Messenger: Remember that he said to his people, ‘Have you become so shameless that you commit such indecent acts as no one committed before you in the world? You gratify your lust with men instead of women: indeed you are a people who are transgressors of all limits!’ Their only answer was: ‘Banish them from your town. They are a people who pretend to be pure’” (7: 80-82).
“Do you approach males among the worlds, And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing. They said: ‘O Lot! If you do not desist, you will be one of those expelled (from our towns).’ He said: ‘I am one of those who abhor your practice’ (26: 165-168).
“We also sent Lot, and recall when he told his people: ‘Do you commit shameless acts with your eyes open? Do you lustfully approach men instead of women? Nay, you engage in acts of sheer ignorance. But this had only one answer from his people. They said: ‘Expel Lot's folk from your city. They pretend to be absolutely clean’” (27: 54-56).
“We bestowed upon Lot sound judgement and knowledge, and We delivered him from the city that was immersed in foul deeds. They were indeed a wicked people, exceedingly disobedient. And We admitted him into Our mercy. Verily he was of the righteous” (21: 74-75).
“We sent Lot, and he said to his people: ‘You commit the abomination that none in the world ever committed before you. What! Do you go to men (to satisfy your lust), engage in highway robbery, and commit evil deeds in your gatherings?’ Then they had no answer to offer other than to say: ‘Bring Allah's chastisement upon us if you are truthful’ (29: 28-29).
Other religious beliefs and books --Vedas (Hindu Scripture), Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scripture), Vinaya Pitaka (Buddhist Scripture), and others-- have the same teachings.
In other words all religions, religious books, and religious personalities including prophets and messengers of God are “homophobic”. Do you ban all? It may not be possible. But if religious groups will be divided and gay lobbyists will remain active, they will definitely ban you.
Syed Jawed Anwar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org