A Muslim man has reached the finals of the Mr Gay Belgium competition.
Abdellah Bijat, a 22-year-old Moroccan man reached the final of the competition for 2016.
Speaking to Studio Brussel, he said: “In the Koran it says that we should be tolerant and open. That means respecting others, no matter what their preferences are.”
He said he wants to break down misconceptions about Islam and homosexuality.
Bijat also wants to bring up the topic of acceptance during the competition
“I want to show that 2016 should be a feasible year for the existence of different cultures including Islam, in order to all live in peace,” the contestant said.
“It should be feasible for everyone to accept people as they are,” he added.
The finals of Mr Gay Belgium will take place on 28 May in Antwerp, Belgium.
A new Mr Gay World was crowned in November, after his predecessor stepped down last week for personal reasons.
Emmanuel Mass Luciano was crowned Mr Gay World, after 21-year-old German winner of last year’s Mr Gay World title Klaus Burkart, stepped down.
Burkart said his “personal changes” made him unable to “live up to the expectations and serve the community.”
21-year-old Burkart, who was described as a “milk technician”, won the competition in South Africa in May.