ISLAMABAD: German news agency DPA in collaboration with South African news agency SAPA records reactions of influential figures about Queer Pakistan website (queerpk.com). Following are the personalities and their reactions.

– Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman (Chairman Moon-sighting Committee of Pakistan, religious leader of the leading Brelvi Islamic sect)

“These practices are completely against Islam. It is the government’s duty to control them,”

“The government should legislate to permanently ban these sinful characters and the society must boycott them,”

- Kamran Ali (Spokesperson Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, responsible for censoring objectionable content online)

“…the government was already examining the content of the website and would block it if found objectionable.”

“We can block all websites with either blasphemous or pornographic content under the law,”

- Farzana Bari (Leading expert on Gender Studies and Rights Activist)

“there was a long way to go before sexuality could be discussed in the public domain.”

“If some people want to create a space for them (LGBTs), we should let them do that,” Bari said. “But it is not easy. It is still a taboo.”

- Rehman (Religious Cleric)

“The West should not try to impose their values on us. We are a society based on religion,”

- Noman (Islamabad-based gay man who was fired from banking job because of his sexuality)

“I’m very excited about it,”
“It is great to have a place where we can meet like-minded people, it doesn’t matter that it’s only virtually.”

The initial news report was compiled by DPA and was meant for the Latin-American and European news resources but the story was then extended with further interviews by the South African news agency SAPA to produce the English version. The news report also features comments from Queer Pakistan website founder Fakhir Q. The full news report can be read here.