An Australian preacher’s homophobic rant | AIJAC

An Australian preacher’s homophobic rant 

Sep 30, 2022 | Ran Porat


Preacher Abu Bakr Zaoud: Legalising homosexuality is “the hands of the Sheitan [Devil] at work” (YouTube screenshot)

The popular Australian Muslim Facebook page, followed by 2.5 million people, has in the past promoted extremism, antisemitism and martyrdom. On Aug. 29, the page published a lecture by an Australian Muslim preacher, praising it with the words: “A brilliant lecture on LGBT from a tradi[ti]onilist Islamic view in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah [Islamic traditions] and not in accordance to liberalists or secularists or modernists who want to compromise and water down their beliefs.”

The preacher so warmly recommended is none other than Abu Bakr Zaoud from the extremist Ahl As-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah (ASWJ, “the family of those following the ways of the Prophet and his companions”). This local branch of an international fundamentalist Salafi organisation is regarded as one of the most radical Muslim groups in Australia. In 2018, and again earlier in 2022, AIJAC exposed the antisemitism, calls for jihad against Israel, and radicalism of ASWJ generally and of Zaoud personally.

The title of Zaoud’s English-language lecture this August at a Sydney mosque was “From illegal to legal and the untold dangers of homosexuality”. The video of the lecture was uploaded online accompanied by an apologetic message: “DISCLAIMER: Those who challenge the normalcy and equivalence arguments of LGBTQ advocates are predictably met with the jamming tactic of being labeled [sic.] bigots, haters, and homophobes so as to pre-empt reasonable debate. Disagreeing with LGBTQ sexual practice is neither an enticement of harassment, phobia, nor violence, but the expression of opinion firmly grounded in medical literature.”

As far as publicly known, Zaoud is not a medical professional. And examining his words in the lecture, it is hard to see how they can be understood in any other way than as not-so-disguised homophobia and hatred.

Homosexuality is “the opposite of intellect”

Zaoud opens his speech by what sounds like welcoming gay people in the audience. “I am aware that there could be among us homosexuals that are sitting or people that have these urges. And I say to these people that you are more than welcome to stay with us,” he says. But his true intentions are quickly revealed as quite different: “We want to educate you on this topic. We want to share intellectual points and proofs from the Koran and the word of [the prophet Muhammad]… this knowledge that we share gives you the ability to make correct decisions in life.”

Speaking about the different gender identities generally accepted today in the West and about same-sex marriage recently becoming legal in several countries (including Australia), Zaoud argues that today “Sexual deviation has become a widespread matter.” He later protests that “the rest of us are slowly being forced to accept all of this and to support all of this as well.”

According to Zaoud, these processes result from humanity losing its modesty. Someone in this state “is a person whose heart has died. As a result, you will find him doing whatever he pleases and whatever his desire calls him to.” After presenting several quotes from Islamic scriptures and traditions, Zaoud concludes that the Prophet was worried and concerned about “homosexuality spreading among his Ummah [Islamic Nation].”

“The first point is how did homosexuality go from being illegal and a crime punished by law,” asks Zaoud. “How did it go from that to becoming decriminalised, and became legal, and now it’s legally recognised by the majority of the world. How did this happen?”

His answer: “First and foremost, keep in mind this, any evil that goes from evil to something good, there is definitely the hands of the Sheitan [Devil] at work.” The Devil, explains Zaoud, “decorated the sin” of homosexuality by firstly “chang[ing] the name. Homosexuality is called love. Love is love with a rainbow colour, he decorates the deed, decorates the sin and people bit by bit find themselves immersed in these kinds of sins and acts.”

The next stage is to normalise the sin. “It’s continuing. This normalisation process does not stop. Everywhere you go, and in schools, it’s in your face. This is all part of the normalisation process.” Supporters of gay rights are “patient upon their falsehood. They are patient upon the evil. […] every single year there’s a pride March!” laments Zaoud.

“In Islam”, explains Zaoud, homosexuality is referred to as “the immoral shameless vulgar act and deed.” It is “THE immoral deed, meaning all the meanings of immorality are found in homosexuality. All the meanings of vulgarity are found in homosexuality.”

Moreover, in the Koran, continues Zaoud, there is a reference suggesting “a link between this deed and the intellect of a person.” Quoting Islamic traditions, Zaoud describes homosexuals as people “immersed deeply into a drunken state of confusion. They are blinded by their drunkenness, with drunkenness affects what? It affects the intelligence of a person.” It is “the complete absence of the intellect, when the mind is not thinking rationally. And this happens when a person allows his desire to overcome his intellect. A person has a desire and has an intellect, and when the desire overrides and it overcomes the intellect. Now a person is in a state of drunkenness.”

“And this is the case of the homosexuals. The mind is not thinking rationally. They would commit the immoral … based on their Shahowa [lust] and not based on the intellect.” Since male and female private parts are designed for reproduction, “anyone who uses his organ for other than the purpose [for which] it was created, you’re not using your intellect,” concludes Zaoud. When homosexuals are using these and other organs (talks about the anus) not for their biological purposes, “there is confusion. There is misguidance. There is deviance.”

Hating gays

Zaoud reviews the history of recent changes in legal and social norms that led to homosexuality being normalised, being consistently critical of gay rights advocates. For example, describing the 1969 Stonewall Riots by pro-gay activists in the US, Zaoud says that “the one who’s upon falsehood doesn’t have an intellectual argument. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s going to get it with violence.”

Protesting what he describes as acceptance and advertisement of homosexuality among Muslims, Zaoud warns that “in Islam, the deed is Haram [forbidden] and supporting the deed is just as bad.”

Homosexuals are dangerous because they are sexually insatiable and know no borders, says Zaoud. “He doesn’t have a limit, a person who commits homosexual sexuality. Just one doesn’t satisfy him. You find two, three, four, or five, perhaps on the same night, this is what Haram does. And you will never be satisfied and you’ll never be fulfilled no matter what a person says.”

Zaoud complains bitterly that respect for single-gender families is taught and promoted at schools, sports events etc. “I’m not a lawyer. I’m not here to advocate your cause and I’m not here to defend for your rights. I don’t support this. I don’t believe in this.”

“As a Muslim, how do we feel about homosexuality? Very simple”, explains Zaoud quoting from Islamic traditions: “I have passion, an extreme hate for your sin” (he does later sanctimoniously say that hating does not justify violence).

Next on Zaoud’s agenda: “the untold dangers of homosexuality […] There are major sexual and psychological health risks that a person needs to be aware of if he was to engage with the action of homosexuality.”

“Did you know that anal penetration is the most riskiest (sic) form of sexual behaviour that a person can conduct? It is the most riskiest [sic] form of sexual practice.” Zaoud lists at this point diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, HPV, STD, anal cancer and even monkeypox that he argues are mostly related to homosexuality.

To warn people of the dangers of homosexuality, Zaoud ‘jokes’, “I believe that on every rainbow flag [the LGBTQI+ flag], there should be a picture up the top… of a person with anal cancer,” and the crowd bursts out laughing. “This is serious”, smiles Zaoud. “This is a warning… there should be a picture just to warn the people as to what will happen, what you are going down in. This is a path of no return. There is no cure. There is no treatment for these matters.”

In addition, cautions Zaoud, there is “the punishment of Allah, the curse of Allah, the punishment that a person exposes himself to in the grave, in the afterlife before Allah… These people distorted the natural disposition of the human being.”

In the conclusion of his speech, Zaoud ridicules divisions and disagreements within the LGBTQI+ community as proof that this group is being weakened. “This won’t last. It will not last so long as we have believers upon the truth.”

ASWJ’s Abu Bakr Zaoud is spreading hatred of the other and fear against members of Australian society. His messages are clearly not acceptable or in line with Australian values of respect for the other and social cohesion, and he needs to be clearly marginalised for his extremism.

Dr. Ran Porat is an AIJAC Research Associate. He is also a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University in Herzliya.

Content warning: extreme homophobic and transphobic intolerance

Facebook image promoting the lecture:

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Religious Freedom Review: ECAJ ‘cautiously welcomes’ findings + Schools reject discrimination | AJN

See also:

ajn-20181221-p5 ECAJ cautiously welcomes findings + Schools reject discrmination

ECAJ ‘cautiously welcomes’ findings

December 23, 2018

THE Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has “cautiously welcomed” the long-awaited release of the Religious Freedom Review and the federal government’s response.

The government has endorsed 15 of the 20 recommendations in the report, which was handed down in May but only released last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government plans to introduce a Religious Discrimination Act, employ a Freedom of Religion Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission and look to introduce a range of other amendments.

The issue of whether religious schools should be allowed to discriminate based on LGBTI+ status has been deferred for the time being.

“Discrimination on the basis of a person’s identity – including their religious identity – is unacceptable … we [also] respect the right of religious institutions to maintain their distinctive religious ethos. Our laws should reflect these values,” Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter said last week.

“Our commitment to striking an appropriate balance is clear. We are committed to finding a way forward that cuts through the political debates about whether some rights are more important than others.”

ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim said that although the roof body believed religious freedom in Australia is not under threat, “as both an ethnic and a faith community we support the government’s intention ‘to further protect, and better promote and balance, the right to freedom of religion under Australian law and in the public sphere’.”

He said there “should be little controversy” about the endorsed recommendations, but did say the introduction of a Religious Discrimination Act will be more contentious.

“On the one hand the legislation will prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s religious belief or activity … on the other hand there will be similar exemptions to those in other anti-discrimination legislation,” he said.

“In practice, however, some difficult situations may arise in which one or the other principle will have to give way, and where no broad social consensus exists as to which principle ought to prevail.”

Wertheim added the creation of the Freedom of Religion Commissioner role was “good sense”.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council director of community affairs Jeremy Jones said the government would have a “difficult task trying to get the correct balance between protecting the right of all Australians to enjoy religious freedom while also trying to ensure that we can have full and robust discussion on matters of concern”.


AIJAC distances itself from Isi Leibler’s toxic views on marriage equality

On Monday November 14 2017 the Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) distanced itself from Isi Leibler’s intolerant views of LGBTIQ people and marriage equality by way of an unrestrained apology sent to their mailing list:


20171114 AIJAC distances itself from Isi Leibler on his toxic Marriage Equality views

Disclaimer and apology regarding Update 11/17 #03

Nov. 14, 2017

Earlier today, as part of the “Update from AIJAC” email newsletter, a link was included to Isi Leibler’s latest column, in which he stated his opinions on same sex marriage. Isi Leibler’s columns are routinely linked in the Update newsletter, and the decision to include this column was taken without the input of senior AIJAC management. Given the nature of this column, linking it at this time was clearly an error, for which AIJAC apologises. AIJAC did not intend to and does not endorse Isi Leibler’s opposition to same sex marriage, which does not reflect AIJAC’s views.

A response to Isi Leibler’s column can be found here.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council doesn’t walk its talk

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council don’t walk its talk when it comes to factual accuracy.

On October 9 2017 ABC Media Watch quoted Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council’s Colin Rubinstein:

“We do critique journalists and media stories when we see factual errors, lack of context, or unprofessionalism …”
— Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director, AIJAC, 28 July 2017

It is disappointing that Colin Rubinstein is taking the high moral ground on matters of factual accuracy.

AIJAC remains unrepentant for a matter of factual inaccuracy that Aleph Melbourne called them out on in 2016 (see AIJAC should apologise for unsubstantiated criticism of Greens policy).

It would be good to hear AIJAC’s apology for their factual inaccuracy and perceived bias.

AIJAC should apologise for unsubstantiated criticism of Greens policy

On June 27 2016 the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) published an article by Ahron Shapiro critical of the Australian Greens entitled “The Greens and Israel“.

The article opened with the following caution:

Pre-election polling and analysis suggests the Australian Greens party is likely to pick up one or more lower house seats this election – on top of retaining the seat of Melbourne. This gives it the potential to not only hold the balance of power in the Senate, but if a hung parliament results from this election, also determine who forms government – with very significant leverage over the minority government thus formed.

and concluded with the following section on domestic policy:

Religious Exemptions

A further issue in the Greens platform likely to concern many in Australia is its policy of removing clauses granting limited exemptions to religious organisations from anti-discrimination laws. This would likely impact significantly on Jewish schools and other communal institutions and concern has been expressed about this policy by Jewish community leaders.

Aleph Melbourne approached AIJAC for clarification of the “significant impact” and the “expressed concern” referred to in the article.

Colin Rubinstein, AIJAC Executive Director, provided the following explanation:

In response to your query I refer you to the story below in the Australian from May 24.
While it may be that there was not much Jewish reaction in the press on the Greens plan, the reaction that was published was top-level.
Peter Wertheim does not comment on every story he is approached for, and his decision to comment here, I would say, well  reflected his confidence and our feedback too that he was conveying the community’s sentiment expressed anecdotally behind the scenes.
At any rate, our mention of this plan took up a very small part of our overall report on the Greens, and should be put in proper perspective.

Colin also provided the two source paragraphs from the May 24 2016 article “Federal election 2016: Greens under pressure on religion reforms” in The Australian by David Crowe:

Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are objecting to the Greens plan to remove the religious ­exemptions, saying it could force people to act against their faith.


Executive Council of Australian Jewry director Peter Wertheim said: “It would be wrong and unworkable for the law to compel people to do things that are contrary to their religious beliefs or conscience.’’

Independently, Aleph Melbourne had contacted Peter Wertheim, Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, on May 24 2016 about the aforementioned article, querying if he had been quoted accurately.  Peter provided the following response:

Here is the whole quote I gave to The Australian.

It is appropriate for the law to ensure that people are  not discriminated against at work or in accessing education, housing and other services, because of their race, gender, sexual preference, age or disability.    However, it would be wrong and unworkable for the law to compel people to do things that are contrary to their religious beliefs or conscience. 

My comment would therefore not apply to a proposed change to the definition of marriage in section 5[1] of the Marriage Act.  But it would apply to a proposed repeal of section 47[2] of the Marriage Act. My understanding is that the proponents of marriage equality are only seeking the former, not the latter. I didn’t refer specifically to the Greens, but given the vagueness and generality of Senator McKimm’s statements I couldn’t work out what he was proposing, and therefore thought it was right to comment.

It is evident that AIJAC was not aware of Peter Wertheim’s full quote supplied to The Australian, and by inference was similarly unaware that Peter was referring to issues relating to the Marriage Act and not anti-discrimination legislation.

AIJAC was lobbying their interest groups to vote unfavourably for the Greens in the July 2 2016 Federal election.  Religious exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation directly impact LGBTIQ Australians, some of whom are Jewish, who are employed by Jewish organisations.  It is deeply disappointing that AIJAC targeted the Greens anti-discrimination policy based on an unsubstantiated claim, more so when it has the potential to hurt some of the most vulnerable members of society.

It is also deeply disappointing that AIJAC attempted to minimise the significance of mentioning the paragraph about the Greens policy on removal of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation.  The damage to people’s lives due to this exemption is amply significant.

An apology from AIJAC to the Greens and to LGBTIQ people for their unfair criticism of the Greens policy would be appreciated.