Israel: Palestinian lesbian conference draws fire from Islamic conservatives

Troy Espera | March 14, 2007

TEL AVIV — Islamic Movement leaders in Israel are condemning plans for a Palestinian lesbian group to hold a conference in Haifa at the end of the month.

Haaretz reports that last week the movement's heads, MKs Ibrahim Sarsur and Abas Zkoor (United Arab List-Ta'al) published a statement calling on "all respectable people from all communities and streams to stand up against preaching sexual deviance among our women and girls."

The Islamic Movement statement also said, "We must not let this fatal cancer spread in our community," reports Haaretz.

Asawat, a Palestinian gay women's organization based in Haifa has called the March 28 conference to mark its five-year anniversary.

"Lesbians... need treatment, they don't need to spread their strange ideas in the Arab community," said Mohammed Zbidat, a spokesman for the Islamic Movement told the Associated Press.

Homosexuality is strictly forbidden by Islam, and an earlier statement issued by the Movement described it as a "cancer" in the Arab community.

Asawat told Haaretz it was studying the situation and would respond when it saw fit. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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