CAIRO - As the Scottish council elections near closer, Glasgow imams are launching a campaign to dissuade Muslim voters from supporting any candidate or party that promotes legalization of gay marriages.
"Religious people only advise," Bashir Maan, the former Glasgow Labour councilor and spokesman for the Council of Glasgow Imams, told Herald Scotland on Sunday, April 22.
"But as this [homosexuality] is considered as a grave sin in our religion we have got to do everything possible to try to oppose it."
Scottish voters are due to vote on May 3, in the country's local election.
But the issue of gay marriage dominated the ballot after the Scottish National Party (SNP) government started an analysis for about 50,000 responses to its consultation on whether to allow same-sex couples to have full religious marriages, rather than just civil partnerships.
With ministers seemingly supporting the suggestion, SNP party leader Alex Salmond said he is personally in favor provided no church is forced to marry gay couples.
But Maan said the political consensus on gay marriage was denying the electorate a proper choice.
"They're all in it. You cannot pinpoint one party. It's political correctness gone mad. What purpose would it serve that is not already being served by the civil union? he asked.
"The procreation process will stop if people started marrying same-sex people. Would the procreation process carry on? No, it would stop. Not everyone, but it would make a difference."
The Muslim leader stressed that all three Abrahamic faiths reject gay marriage.
Glasgow imams would be delivering their message against homosexuality in sermons to worshippers in mosques ahead of the May 3 vote, he said.
About 40% of Scotland's Muslims live in Glasgow.
Campaigners in Glasgow lament that Scottish parties have been avoiding discussing the issue of gay marriage to avoid voter anger.
"It's one of those 'Don't talk about the war' things," a veteran SNP campaigner in Glasgow, who asked not to be named, told The Herald.
Some Muslim candidates for different parties, however, believe that gay marriage was an issue for national rather than council elections.
"I haven't come across it as an issue and don't think it will make a difference in how people vote," said Hanif Raja, Labour's candidate in the Glasgow ward of Pollokshields.
Shabbar Jaffri, the SNP candidate in nearby Greater Pollok, who carried out extensive work on the Government consultation, agrees.
"I have been campaigning in the same community and I can honestly say not one person has brought it up, Jaffri said.
The issues that are being discussed are things like the business bonus scheme, rates relief, children at university and tuition fees.
The SNP candidate opines that the Muslim community had to accommodate itself to the changing atmosphere in Scottish society.
"We're living in a cosmopolitan society. The Asian community has first-hand experience of prejudice. I don't view the gay community in a negative way or think they should be chastised or done away with, he said.
It's a fact of reality whether you like it or not, and you have to accommodate people.
However, Imam Maan was worried that the legalization of gay marriages might lead to promoting homosexuality in the society.
"So far, governments have not been promoting homosexuality so much. Now it's different. If the Government thinks it's a good thing, then maybe their expectations are different.
"It is a sin in not only our faith but in Christianity and other faiths also. No faith approves or condones homosexuality."
He warned that gay marriage was not only a grave sin, but also a threat to civilization itself.
"If this trend goes on increasing, of homosexual unions, what will become of society? Where would civilization end up? A decline in population, and a decline in society.
"Society is based on the family. The family of a man and a wife and the children, that is the basis of family. If that's taken away, it will crumble eventually. Society will crumble."
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and 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.