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Tatar Imam Warns Elton John Fans Of 'Divine Retribution'

British singer Elton John

British singer Elton John

A leading Islamic cleric in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has called on Muslims not to attend a concert by British pop star Elton John in December.

In a statement issued October 3, Imam Seidzhagfar Lutfullin of the Zakaban Mosque said "divine retribution for taking part in a hotbed of sodomy will fall both on those who attend the concert and those who perform there."

John and other Western pop stars, including Madonna and Lady Gaga, have criticized Russia for discriminating against gay people after President Vladimir Putin signed a law in June banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.

John is set to perform concerts in Moscow and Kazan in December.

He told Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper last month that, as a gay man, he felt he had to go and support Russia's gay community despite uncertainty about how he would be received.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax