CAIRO - Rattled by the recent case of a same-sex marriage for an exchange student, Malaysia is moving to monitor Muslim youngesters studying abroad to protect them against social ills, the Star newspaper reported Sunday, December 25.Of course we always monitor, Daud Abdul Rahman, assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Office (Islamic Affairs), told reporters.Over the past week, Malaysia was rattled by a same-sex marriage controversy that involved a Malaysian former University College of Durbin student who married his gay partner.
The controversy has prompted the Malaysian prime minister's office to issue a statement pledging to investigate the matter.
We know it can be quite embarrassing to us and I do not only mean for Islam. I believe it is not permitted in other religions too," Abdul Rahman said.
We tend to get disappointed because it troubles the family. In Islam, same-sex marriage is not allowed, he added.
An official from Malaysia's ruling political party is due to arrive in Dublin later this week to convince the student involved in the controversy to return home.
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam as well as in all divine religions.
Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.
Muslim Malays form about 60 percent of Malaysia's 26-million population, while Christians make up around 9.1 percent.
The Malaysian official acknowledged the difficult task that lies ahead to prove if someone was engaged in a same-sex relationship.
You can have two men or two women in the same room and they could just be friends, said Abdul Rahman.
How do you prove if they are in a relationship? It's not easy.
He added that Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had received information about a club that was catering to the gay community that might be holding a private gathering.
We've received word on this but we are only concerned about patrons that are Muslims, he said.
If we find any of them involved in such relationships, we will act.
Abdul Rahman said if Jais came across such reports, it would certainly investigate the matter.
If proven, the Shari`ah courts would be assigned to decide on the penalty, Abdul Rahman said.
Yet, he added that he believed that it would be more or less the same as those caught for khalwat (close proximity).
The monitoring initiative submitted by Jais was not the first in Malaysia to tackle such problem.
Last week, Kepong Islamic Youth Organization (PBIK) made a report at Sentul police headquarters asking it to probe future candidates for scholarships, based on the candidates' character and Islamic beliefs in addition to excellent academic results.
According to the newspaper, it is believed that there are around 30,000 students who are studying abroad.