Islam teaches death for gays says Islamic chaplain associated with Vanderbilt University

More on the Islamic chaplain at Vanderbilt University, Awadh Binhazim, who says Islam teaches gays should be put to death and he has no choice but to believe it. I wonder what he is teaching his charges at Vandy.

Video footage from a small Vanderbilt event earlier this week has spread across the Internet.

“Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military,” an event designed to explore the involvement in Muslims in the military earlier this week, resulted in heated exchanges between a Muslim chaplain at Vanderbilt and the vice president of the national Youth for Western Civilization organization.

The dialogue between junior Devin Saucier and Vanderbilt chaplain Awadh Binhazim that occurred at Monday’s event has become the source of campus and Web-wide controversy. The video has appeared on several blogs such as Jihad Watch, Bare Naked Islam and Youth for Western Civilization. The video has received 1,612 views on YouTube.

The presentation, sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, ROTC and Project Dialogue, sought to “bring fact and knowledge to a media storm through discussion and open dialogue,” said Project Dialogue coordinator Emily Stewart.  

Tensions ran high earlier this week when the Muslim Students Association and the Army and Navy ROTC paired to bring information to the student body regarding the issue of Muslims in the military.Much of the online discussion concerns remarks made by Binhazim, who suggested that he, as part of his religion, would support the death of individuals involved in homosexual acts.

“Given the recent controversy surrounding homosexuals in the military, under Islamic laws if a homosexual engaged in homosexual acts, then the punishment under Islamic law would be death,” Saucier said. “As a practicing Muslim, do you accept or reject this particular teaching of Islam?”

“I don’t have a choice to accept or reject teachings,” Binhazim responded. “I go with what Islam teaches.”

In a phone conversation following the event, Binhazim expressed his regret that the focus had been taken off Muslims in the military.

“(Saucier) came with his own agenda. He asked a question that was irrelevant to the theme of the night,” Binhazim said. 

Saucier admitted to attending the event with his own agenda in a Youth for Western Civilization blog entry on Jan. 27: “When I saw that the Muslim Students Association was hosting an event titled ‘Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military,’ which was sponsored by the Project Dialogue committee, I knew it would be ripe grounds for me to expose the gullibility of leftists who grovel at the altars of tolerance and acceptance.”

He, however, disputed the accusation of irrelevance in a phone conversation.

“Given the recent controversy surrounding homosexuals in the military, I thought homosexuality, the nature of Islam and the military was a particularly complex issue,” Saucier said. “I thought Binhazim would present the good, the bad and the ugly. Instead, his presentation was flowers and butterflies.”

Binhazim, however, calls for perspective.

“As Muslims, we don’t just go around killing gays. That is a ridiculous misconception,” Binhazim said. “There is a set of strict criteria that must be met before this punishment is enforced. The rule is in place to promote the Muslim values of family. Even in rare cases where all criteria is met, it is even rarer for this conclusion to be reached.”

In an e-mail exchange, Binhazim disapproved of the press the exchange has received.

“I don’t want that one question to overtake the entire purpose of why that event was done and the presentation. Many positive things came out of the gathering we had,” he said. “One question for 10 or 20 seconds could not take away that whole hour.”

Wow, hate to ruin his whole hour but his beliefs, if implemented, could ruin the lives of many. Moral disagreement is one thing, the death sentence is another.

Will this make any entrance into the national media? I do not understand if it doesn’t. I suspect a Christian chaplain at a major university rightly would be the subject of intense scrutiny. I can’t find much of anything on this beyond a few conservative blogs and the Vanderbilt University press.

Here again is the video of the exchange between the student and Binhazim.

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  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I can’t say I’m entirely surprised by the Muslim Chaplain’s response, and I’ve certainly heard Christians take a similar tack — “you can’t take a black highlighter to scripture” and other stuff that would enshrine their own interpretation alongside scripture itself (as though there is no thought process involved).

    The group mentioned in the post, Youth for Western Civilization, also disturbs me. I admit that I don’t know much about them, but the name itself and what little I read tonight about their goals seemed a bit creepy.