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15 Dec 2011- A Nigerian Islamic scholar this week called for the death penalty for the gay community, sparking massive outrage from local and international groups.

The statement, during his weekly prayer session of the Nasrul-lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), came after the country’s legislators passed new rules that outlaw gay marriage in the country.

Malam Abdulkadir Apaokagi argued that the LGBT community in Nigeria were “perverts” who did “not deserve to co-exist with right thinking and decent people.”

He continued to say that gay people were “worse than murderers” and deserve “stiffer penalty” than regular criminals in the country, including those who kill someone.

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are just too dirty in the sight of Allah, those who engage in them deserve more than capital punishment. When they are killed, their corpse should also be mistreated,” he said.

Apaokagi is the deputy Imam at the Abuja branch of NASFAT and argued that gay people are not mentally stable and would, if allowed to live in society, “bring severe instability to the society in which they lived.”

Nigeria is not known for its tolerance toward homosexuality and the recent passing of legislation to ban gay marriage has been met with widespread condemnation by rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“None of them can pass a psychiatric test, because they are not normal,” he said.

The bill that passed, “Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) bill 2011” also carries 14 year jail sentences for convicted gays in Nigeria.

Christian groups in Nigeria have been just as vocal, if not more so, as their Muslim compatriots, in calling for a ban and jail sentence for homosexuality.

Quoting from the Qur’an, Apaokagi hailed the Senate for passing the law, saying that God “decreed marriages only between members of the opposite sex.

“Any society that tolerates gay marriage would come to destruction the way God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sodomy.

“They are criminals, Allah Himself describes them so, and it is great that the Senate has criminalized what they are trying to do.”

By Joseph Maylon