The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.

He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country’s President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria.

“If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country,” he added.

There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as “against the order of nature.” Trans people are also targeted by police and regularly subject to abuse and harassment.

In August activists in spoke out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.

30 people gave a press conference drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.

They called themselves the “homosexual children of God” and demanded that attacks on LGBT people stop.

The following week churches in the country showed their disapproval with a demonstration organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.

UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The Muslim community, who make up 12% of the country’s population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

In response to the gay rights press conference Muslim youth belonging to the Tabliq movement announced they plan to set up ‘Anti-Gay Squads’ to fight homosexuality.

Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in the sect, announced the squads at the Noor Mosque in the capital, Kampala.

He said: “We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society.

“It is the work of the community to put an end to bad practices like homosexuality.”

The Tabliqs are well known for their militant – and sometimes violent – measures.

In 1991 they accused the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) of not serving the interests of Islam and promptly stormed their headquarters to forcibly remove the administration. A few policemen and Tabliqs were killed.

Conservative forces in Uganda have painted homosexuality as a kind of foreign import, but anthropologists point to the well-documented traditions of Bugunda royalty before European colonisation, where gay relationships were openly practised at the court.