At a conference on Islam held in Indonesia, moderate Muslim scholars issued a statement calling homosexuality normal and created by God.
Moderate Muslim scholars said there were no reasons to reject homosexuals under Islam, and that the condemnation of homosexuals and homosexuality by mainstream ulema and many other Muslims was based on narrow-minded interpretations of Islamic teachings. Siti Musdah Mulia of the Indonesia Conference of Religions and Peace cited the Koran's al-Hujurat (49:3) that one of the blessings for human beings was that all men and women are equal, regardless of ethnicity, wealth, social positions or even sexual orientation. "There is no difference between lesbians and nonlesbians. In the eyes of God, people are valued based on their piety," she told the discussion organized by nongovernmental organization Arus Pelangi. "And talking about piety is God's prerogative to judge," she added. "The essence of the religion (Islam) is to humanize humans, respect and dignify them." Musdah said homosexuality was from God and should be considered natural, adding it was not pushed only by passion.Two conservative Islamic groups at the conference responded by condemning gays.