Russian imam warns Elton John fans of 'divine retribution'
MOSCOW (AFP) - A leading Russian Muslim cleric warned on Thursday that fans who attend upcoming concerts by openly gay singer Elton John face divine punishment, after the star spoke out in support of Russian gays.
"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 a mosque in the Volga city of Kazan told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily.
"Divine retribution for taking part in a hotbed of sodomy will fall both on those who attend the concert and those who perform there," said the cleric from the Zakaban mosque in Kazan, a city with a large ethnic Tatar Muslim community.
The cleric, known for his outspoken statements, also posted a message on the mosque's website calling the British singer "the devil's work."