Jack Straw attacks Muslims over gay marriage
Mr Straw served as Home, Foreign and Justice Secretary under New Labour. He was Foreign Secretary when civil partnerships were introduced but was absent from the vote, as he was from most LGBT rights legislation.
In the Lancashire Telegraph he writes: “ A central principle common to all world religions is the idea that we should behave towards others in the way in which we would expect others to behave towards us. Mohammed devotes much of his teaching to this theme, declaring in his last sermon: "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you."
"'Mankind are the family of God, and the most beloved of them to God are those who are the most excellent to His family', and 'Not one of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself' are two of his most powerful, and enduring, messages about how individuals, local communities, and whole societies, should live peacefully, and happily, with others.”
Mr Straw questions if the leaders of British Islam are practising these essential teachings of Mohammed.
He writes: “I happen to be, in the modern jargon, ‘straight’. It doesn’t make me a better person.
“I didn’t choose to be straight. It’s how I am. It would be no different if I were gay. I would neither be a better, nor a worse, person because of it. It would simply be how I was.
“Because I am straight, I have a right to marry a woman. But if I were a gay man, or a lesbian woman, in love with another gay man, or lesbian woman, I can get to a half-way house with a “civil partnership”, but the law currently says that I cannot marry.”
Muslims spread homophobia and oppose the civil liberties of homosexual people, and they do not welcome them into their mosques. Mr Straw berates Muslim leaders for believing on the basis of the Qur'an and Islamic tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman and will not accept that this needs to change.
Lord (Adam) Patel, President of the Masjid e Tauheedul Islam, the Central Mosque of Blackburn in Mr Sraw's constituency, compared 'haram' plans for gay marriage with eating a bacon sandwich: "Allah (peace be upon him) created female for male and people who are gays have been punished in the past," he said. Quoting the Qur'an, he explained: "And Lut! When he said unto his folk: Will you commit an obscenity that none has ever committed before you? You fulfil your lust on men instead of women? Indeed, you are a wanton nation."
According to Muslims, there can be no 'nikah' - the Islamic matrimonial contract - between gays and lesbians. Mr Straw admonishes them: “Some mosque leaders say the law should stay that way, on the spurious grounds that the sanctity and importance of heterosexual marriage will somehow be damaged. How, why?
“I know of no-one who is married who feels threatened by the idea that another couple, same sex, wishes to cement their love for each other by marrying.
“Why should this not be a matter of celebration, rather than of prohibition?”
He ends asking: “How on earth do these Mosque leaders square their present stand with those qur'anic injunctions about treating others as you would expect to be treated yourself?"
O, hang on. His Grace has got it ever so slightly wrong. Apologies.