Ariff Alfian Rosli in traditional Malaysian dress exchanges rings with an Irishman during a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland..
DUBLIN, Ireland – Turns out that the “missing” medical student from Malaysia is alive and well and living in Ireland with his Irish “husband.”
Meanwhile, Muslim groups from Malaysia, outraged after alleged “wedding” photographs were published in local newspapers, are urging Ariff Alfian Rosli, 28, to return home to his family.
That would not be a wise move since Malaysia has criminalized sex between two consenting adults of the same sex, and Rosli likely would be punished by fines, whipping or imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Rosli went to Ireland in 2003 to study medicine at the University College Dublin. He apparently is estranged from his family over his homosexuality. His father, Rosli Haron, had filed missing person reports with authorities in both Malaysia and Ireland over the past three years.
The alleged gay wedding has caused quite a scandal in Malaysia, where Islam is the dominant religion.
“The marriage is a disgrace to our religion, race and country,” Norizan Ali, chairman of Kepong Islamic Youth Organization (PBIK), told Malaysia Chronicle on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
On Twitter and other Social Media, Rosli is being condemned by Muslims from his homeland. @DTOTHEZAK wrote on Twitter: “Ariff Alfian Rosli is a disgrace! Rot in hell!” @shkyla wrote: “Looking at those wedding pictures of Ariff Alfian, makes me want to vomit. Blergh, disgusting.”
On Facebook, a group calling itself “The Campaign to Bring Ariff Alfian Rosli Home to Malaysia to Save His Faith” wants to “restore” Rosli to “the true and noble path” of Islam. About 60% of Malaysia’s population of 26 million are Muslims, while Christians total about 9%.
Rosli spoke this week with the Irish Times and declined to say whether he was married, in a civil partnership, or even involved in a same-sex relationship. He disputed reports from Malaysia that he was ever “missing” and said he and his father had a disagreement in 2009 that spurred his family’s reaction.
“I am not missing. The Irish authorities know I am legally resident here. The Malaysian embassy has also been aware for several years that I am residing here legally,” Rosli told the Irish Times.
“I feel I have have been inadvertently thrust into the public eye. I just want to get by without upsetting anyone or causing any trouble. My overriding concern is for my family.”
Rosli also denied that he had renounced his Muslim faith, as some Malaysian papers reported.