Speaker Anita Among has beseeched Muslim leaders to join the fight against homosexuality in Uganda.
The Speaker made the call during the annual Iftar dinner organised by Parliament on Friday, 31 March 2023 for the Muslim fraternity to mark the holy month of Ramadan.
In her message delivered by Hon. Abdu Katuntu (Indep., Bugweri County), the Speaker rallied the Muslim leadership to rise up against the vice that is threatening African values and cultures.
“For the Sheikhs here, I implore you to join the fight against homosexuality that has become so widespread,” she said before referring to Holy Books that have condemned the practice.
“We are aware that the Koran, the holy book of Muslims preaches against this practice. Prophet Lot was a righteous prophet who was sent to preach the word of Allah to the sinful people of Sodom and Gomorrah. The details of this story is both in the Koran and Bible,” the Speaker said.
On 21 March 2023, Parliament unanimously passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 that proposes tough penalties for same sex relationships.
The bill now awaits the President’s assent.
In her message, the Speaker urged Muslims to use the period of Ramadan to visit and share with the sick and needy.
The chief speaker, Sirajeh Mukasa Katantazi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association appreciated the 11th Parliament for being bold to pass the anti-gay bill despite the backlash from donors.
He appealed to government to actualise Article 129 (1) (d) of the Constitution that provides for establishment of Qadhis courts to handle cases of marriage, divorce, inheritance of property and guardianship.
This, among other issues including the operationalisation of Islamic Banking has been top on the Muslims’ demand list.
“Government should finalise the processes and procedures of having Islamic Banking in this country. We know of many colleagues who cannot access finances in the existing financial institutions…,” the Chairperson of Muslim Parliamentary Caucus, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa echoed.
He also appealed to the Speaker to provide a bigger prayer space for Muslim MPs and staff in the new parliament building which is under construction.
This second Iftar Dinner of the 11th Parliament attracted several dignitaries including diplomats, ministers, MPs and Muslim communities from various parts of the country.