Photo: Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed.
The first gay friendly mosque is getting ready to open near Paris. The mosque will be in a small room in a Buddhist dōjō. Until it opens, the doors will be open every Friday to gay, lesbian and transgender worshipper. Men and women will even be encouraged to sit next to each other, breaking free from many of the usual restrictions of the Muslim faith.
"It's a secure place that welcomes all Muslims and others," says the mosque's creator, 35-year-old Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed. He is a gay French Muslim, who created the foundation Homosexual Muslims of France, which has 325 members. He hopes the mosque will be inviting for those who feel they're excluded from the Muslim faith.
The opening of the mosque doesn't come without controversy, many of Frances Imams consider it "contrary to the principles of Islam".