A set of proposals approved by Bahrain’s parliament targeting homosexual activity in the country should be implemented, according to a politician in the Gulf state.

Brotherhood MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed wants the government to begin a number of initiatives designed to rid the country of gay people.

In April parliament demanded that the Interior Ministry stop granting any residence permits to foreign homosexuals.

Bahrain is known as one of the more tolerant Muslim nations in the Middle East, and has recently undergone a period of political liberalisation.

However, homosexuality remains a crime, and the government has periodically deported expatriates living in the nation because of their sexual orientation.

The country only held its first elections in 2002, and since then politicians have mainly addressed themselves to “moral” issues such as banning female mannequins from shop windows and tackling the widespread problem of “sorcery.”

The bicameral parliament is dominated by Shia and Sunni Islamist parties.

The ministers have called for homosexuals to be ‘rooted out’ of hair salons and massage parlours:

The proposals will see teachers on the look out for homosexual tendencies in children and ‘punishing them accordingly.’

Homosexuality has been considered illegal in Bahrain since 1956 when, as part of the British Empire, it was given the Indian Penal Code.

Homosexuals can be given up to 10 years in prison though this is rarely put into practice.

In 2002 the government deported 2,000 allegedly gay Filipino workers for homosexual activity and prostitution.