After Christians asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to ban Elton John from performing in Moscow, now a leading Russian Muslim cleric is warning fans that they will face “divine retribution” if they attend the openly gay singer’s concerts.
“The only thing we can do as believers is to call the people not to give into the temptations of the devil and not attend Elton John’s Russian concerts,” Seidzhagfar Lutfullin, the imam of the Zakaban mosque in Kazan, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily.
On the mosque’s website, Lutfullin referred to Elton John as “devil’s work in the shape of a pederast.”
“Sodomy … is what the world famous homosexual Elton John, who recently wed a man in public, is promoting,” said Lutfullin.
“Divine retribution for taking part in a hotbed of sodomy will fall both on those who attend the concert and those who perform there,” he said.
Kazan has a large ethnic Tatar Muslim community, and the mosque has been there for 1,000 years.
In September, the Urals Parents’ Committee wrote an open letter to Putin asking him to ban John from performing because they believe he will speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law.
Under the law, if he violated the “homosexual propaganda” ban on stage, he would spend 15 days in Russian custody and be fined $150.
Lady Gaga and Madonna have both been accused of violating the ban during Russian performances. They suffered no legal consequences under those claims.
John is still schedule to perform in Moscow and in Kazan in December.