Kenyan Muslim leaders call for death penalty for gays

14 June 2011 - 15:09 By Sapa-AP

Muslim leaders in Kenya have called on the government to introduce the death penalty for homosexuals and to boycott their businesses, media reports said Monday.

"Death is the only punishment prescribed by Islam for such people as done in China and Iran," the Daily Nation quoted Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, as saying.

"We are asking Kenyans to shun businesses owned by such people and further show them open discrimination as a way of stopping the beastly act," he told reporters at an anti-homosexual workshop.

"They grossly abuse rights of others and should not be accepted among the society," he said.

The workshop was attended by more than 150 madrassa teachers and was called to address the problem of sexual abuse of boys.

Another participant at the work shop, Sheikh Majid Obeid also blamed Kenya's recent drought on "illicit activities."

"The rising cost of living and drought are due to the behaviour of these Kenyans who are not ready to change," he said.

An attempt last year by a Ugandan member of parliament to introduce the death penalty caused international outrage. The government rejected the death penalty but parts of the legislation proposed are still under discussion.

Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries. Those who show their gay orientation openly often face violence as well as discrimination.