A Malay-Muslim gay man in Malaysia says he fears for his safety after speaking about his sexuality in an Internet video that attracted online death threats and accusations by religious authorities that he is insulting Islam.
Azwan Ismail told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday he was taking safety precautions following fierce criticism in this conservative, Muslim-majority country over his clip, which has been viewed more than 140,000 times on YouTube in just six days.
The segment, titled 'I'm Gay, I'm OK,' features the 32-year-old engineer encouraging other gay Malaysians to be confident in themselves.
To watch him, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJLSteQIcms
It is part of a series of interviews posted online by gay rights activists since last week, but Azwan has attracted heavy attention because he is the only one from Malaysia's ethnic Malay Muslim majority so far.
'I don't know what to expect next,' Azwan said Tuesday in his first comments to the media after his nearly three-minute clip was posted Dec 15. Other gay Malaysians featured in the 'Independent Sexuality' video campaign so far are mainly ethnic Chinese non-Muslims, who generally face less of a public stigma about homosexuality.
Azwan said he has tried to avoid going out alone or lingering at public places after a few of the 3,000 people who commented on his video issued death threats and many others rebuked him.
He has also made his personal details more private on social media websites.
Although Azwan's face appears clearly in the video, he declined to be photographed for the AP interview.
Info: copy & paste dr inbox gmail.
Dunia skrg mmg sudah nazab dah..... berani sgt mengaku... so kena la hadapi segala tentangan dr mana2 pihak pun. Setau mama org yg terang2 mengaku gay dan mengamalkan budaya sebegini seharusnya dinasihati utk bertaubat... kalu ingkar, blh dibinasakan kerana tindakan sebegini akan menjadi ikutan dan menbahayakan bangsa dan agama islam sendiri. Laknat sungguh lelaki ni..Emo sungguh tgk video dia nih....