Malaysian PM says caning of lesbians counter to ‘compassion of Islam’

download (4)Source: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday denounced the caning of two Muslim women for attempting lesbian sex, a sentence that sparked outrage and raised fears about the treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The women had pleaded guilty to charges under Islamic laws forbidding lesbian sex. They were caned on Monday in front of dozens of people at a sharia court in Terengganu, a conservative state in the east, prompting an outcry from human rights activists, who described the punishment as torture.

Mahathir’s government has appeared divided about the LGBT community, while the premier himself had been silent on the caning and recent attacks on transgender people and marginalized groups in the Muslim-majority country.

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