"The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella organization representing some 400 different organizations, condemned media attacks on Qaradawi, describing him as "a voice of reason and understanding.""
hmm.... I guess M.C.B and Reuters missed this or at least Reuters
Please, could you tell me the ruling on homesexuality: sodomy and lesbianism. And if it is Haram, what is the punishment for it in Islam?
ANSWER FROM DR. YUSUF AL-QARADAWI
We must be aware that in regulating the sexual drive Islam has prohibited not only illicit sexual relations and all ways, which lead to them, but also the sexual deviation known as homosexuality. This perverted act is a reversal of the natural order, a corruption of man's sexuality, and a crime against the rights of females. [The same applies equally in the case of female homosexuality. (Trans.)]
The spread of this depraved practice in a society disrupts its natural life pattern and makes those who practice it slaves to their lusts, depriving them of decent taste, decent morals, and a decent manner of living. The story of the people of the Prophet Lut (Lot) as narrated in the Qur'an should be sufficient for us. Lut's people were addicted to this shameless depravity, abandoning natural, pure, lawful relations with women in the pursuit of this unnatural, foul and illicit practice. That is why their Prophet Lut (peace be on him), told them, "What! Of all creatures, do you approach males and leave the spouses whom your Lord has created for you? Indeed, you are people transgressing (all limits)!" (26:165-166)
The strangest expression of these peoples' perversity of nature, lack of guidance, depravity of morals, and aberration of taste was their attitude toward the guests of the prophet Lut (peace be on him) who were angels of punishment in human form sent by Allah to try these people and to expose their perversity. The Qur'an narrates the story thus: And when Our messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account and did not know how to protect them. He said, 'This is a day of distress.' And his people, who had long since been practicing abominations, came rushing toward him. He said, 'O my people, here are my daughters. They are purer for you, so fear Allah and do not disgrace me in front of my guests. Is there not a single upright man among you?' They said, 'Thou knowest well that we have no right to thy daughters, and certainly thou knowest what we want.' He said, 'If only I had strength to resist you or had some powerful support!' Said (the angels) 'O Lut, truly, we are messengers of thy Lord; they shall not reach thee....' (11:77-81)
The jurists of Islam have held differing opinions concerning the punishment for this abominable practice. Should it be the same as the punishment for fornication, or should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.