Australia’s first openly gay imam, Nur Warsame has advised Muslims around the world not to feel shame about sexuality.

Interviewed by BBC, he encouraged others like him who are struggling to come out of their closets to make the bold step, even as he kicked against the outdated ideology that the things a person does in his or her bedroom considered morally wrong is a sin that should be atoned for only by killing the person.

Unable to travel due to security concerns, he set up Marhaba – an online prayer group for the LGBT community, five years ago.

Explaining how parents often get so worked up on discovering that their kids are gay and even go as far as calling to ask if there’s something wrong with them, he added that with the revelation of his sexuality, he has been able to give some sort of healing and hope to those parents, knowing fully well that he is just like the other kids.

Warsame believes that he has been called to be an Imam regardless of his sexuality, adding that he even tried doing other jobs just to stay away from religious affairs, but he simply couldn’t do anything else.

He said unable to serve in mosques, he created his own mosque in his heart and carries it around.

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