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Muslim leader says intersex hijras deserve equal rights

in INDIA, 28/03/2013

A Muslim scholar who was accused of speaking out against hijras has clarified his views to say they are ‘human beings with equal rights’.

Faiz Syed, founder and president of India's Islamic Research Center (IRC), was featured on a YouTube video talking about hijras, part of an intersex and transgender subculture in India.

Differing English translations of his video sparked controversy. Some said he was attacking hijras while others claimed he was being progressive.

But in a set of clarifications, Syed insists he is supportive to the hijra community. He indicates he only was talking about intersex hijras – not other transgender, gay or lesbian people. And he says they should not be treated badly, as they often are, but deserve equal rights.

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