KUALA LUMPUR: A 32-year-old man, who confessed on YouTube that he is gay, says he fears for his safety after speaking about his sexuality.
Azwan Ismail told the Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday he was taking safety precautions following fierce criticism over his clip, which was viewed more than 140,000 times on YouTube in just six days.
“I don’t know what to expect next,” Azwan said in his first interview to the media after his nearly three-minute clip was posted on Dec 15.
Azwan said he had tried to avoid going out alone or lingering at public places after several people who commented on his video issued death threats and many others rebuked him.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom voiced concerns over the weekend that gay activists were trying to promote homosexuality.
He said officials might take “appropriate action to prevent this from spreading because it would hurt Islam’s image.”
Perak mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria reportedly said Azwan should have not made such an open declaration that “derided his own dignity and Islam in general.”
Azwan said his lawyer friend was checking whether legal action could be taken against him.
He added that he had not broached the subject with his parents, but his brother asked him about it after news of the video surfaced.
Meanwhile, PAS Youth wants the Federal Government to step up efforts to curb the activities of the homosexual community.
Movement leader Nasrudin Hassan said it is insufficient to merely give an assurance of increased scrutiny of blogs purportedly written by gay Muslims.
Jamil Khir had recently issued this pledge.
“Based on Jamil Khir’s admission, I urged the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to act on gay activities at all levels as these are becoming increasingly pervasive,” Nasrudin said in a statement.
Nasrudin also urged the authorities to strictly monitor premises, presumably used for entertainment purposes, which are owned by homosexuals.
Jakim, he said, “should monitor all forms of entertainment”, making special reference to a performance in Kuala Lumpur by American Idol finalist Adam Lambert, who is openly gay.
Nasrudin said there were also “shocking” attempts to promote the “gay culture” to the masses through films such as ‘Anu Dalam Botol’, a film about a trans-sexual couple.
PAS Youth has been among the most vocal critics of homosexuality, having held a protest outside Lambert’s concert venue in October.