Londoner reveals how father tried to ‘gay cure’ him through Islamic exorcism
A former Muslim extremist has revealed how he was forced to undergo an exorcism by his father to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality.
Sohail Ahmed said that the ceremony – which took place at an Islamic spiritual healing shop – left him feeling suicidal.
He also said that his experiences convinced him that the Muslim faith will not accept homosexuality “in my lifetime”.
Mr Ahmed – who has now left Islam but still identifies as a “cultural Muslim” – said that as a teenager he had dreamed of blowing up Canary Wharf.
He claims the exorcism took place at the Abu Ruqya shop in 2014 – which specialises in healing those who are suffering from “black magic, jinn (supernatural beings) possession and the evil eye, as well as other various conditions”.
Most traditional Muslims accept the validity of the concepts, which are all described in the Koran and Hadith. The Prophet himself is said in the Koran to have been affected by black magic.
In Islamic theology, jinn are believed to be creatures with free will, made from smokeless fire and able to possess people.
“The guy gave me an example of another guy who had come to him and claimed to be gay and he was now fully healed and married to a woman,” Mr Ahmed told The Times.
“There was only one session at the Abu Ruqya shop where the guy was reading Koran and then blowing on me afterwards.
“At one point during the Ruqya [Islamic exorcism] I felt an urge to just start thrashing out. I had to suppress it. I still don’t understand it till today.”
Ruqya ceremonies are increasingly popular among Muslims looking for help with various health problems – with many turning to them after having been turned away by medical practitioners.
Mr Ahmed continued to say that the sessions continued at home – with his father playing the role of healer because “he felt the Abu Ruqya guy was ripping us off”.
“It got too much for me and my dad walked in on me when I was going to hang myself,” he said.
“That’s when I realised I had to leave home or else I would have killed myself.”
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He went on to say that he feels the Islamic faith will never accept homosexuality.
“I understand the Muslim viewpoint on homosexuality. A mosque saying we accept LGBT people — this is not going to happen in my lifetime, it’s a long process.”
He also said that he “still feels guilty about being gay”.
“My parents are going through so much pain, I wish I hated them. I understand why they are doing it, they are trying to help me. I understand where they are coming from.”
Mr Ahmed recently took part in a radio phone on LBC – and was forced to defend himself from intense homophobic abuse.