Telegraph (UK) 19 March 2012
David Cameron’s plan to legalise gay marriage is “unnecessary and unhelpful”, the country’s largest Muslim organisation has said. The leader of Britain’s Sikh community also attacked the proposal to extend the definition of marriage to same-sex couples, describing it as an “assault on religion”. Senior Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops have already warned that the move will undermine social structures dating back thousands of years.
(The) Muslim Council of Britain said case for the government’s proposals was “strikingly weak”. Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, said: “Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful. “With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law. “Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak. In common with other Abrahamic faiths, marriage in Islam is defined as “a union between a man and a woman”, he said. “So while the state has accommodated for gay couples, such unions will not be blessed as marriage by the Islamic institutions.”
Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations, said the proposed reforms represented “a sideways assault on religion”. “It is an attempt by a vocal, secular minority to attack religion,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Sikhs believed in marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that changing the definition was an attack on the English language, he said. “We have total respect for gays and lesbians and we are delighted that there is a Civil Partnership Act. We believe that this gives gays and lesbians everything they need.”