New plans to widen the definition of who is an extremist in the eyes of the British government could include Muslims who object to homosexuality.
A revised counter-terrorism strategy is to be published next month.
The Guardian reports that a range of beliefs held by many Muslims could be classed as extreme under the new definition, among them the promotion of Sharia law, which punishes homosexuality with the death penalty, advocating a pan-Islamic state or supporting jihad.
The new strategy “would widen the definition of extremists to those who hold views that clash with what the government defines as shared British values,” the paper reports.
“Those who advocate the wider definition say hardline Islamist interpretation of the Qur’an leads to views that are the root cause of the terrorism threat Britain faces.”
An in-depth survey in 2007 into the attitudes of Muslims living in London revealed that less than 5% thought homosexual acts are “acceptable,” compared with more than 65% of the general population.
The previous year Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, was investigated by police over comments he made on BBC radio.
He called homosexuality, “a practice that in terms of health, in terms of the moral issues that comes along in a society, it is not acceptable.
“Each of our faiths tells us that it is harmful and, I think, if you look into the scientific evidence that has been available in terms of the forms of various illnesses and diseases that are there, surely it points out that where homosexuality is practised there is a greater concern in that area.”
In September Channel 4 screened Dispatches documentary Undercover Mosque: The Return.
It features a female reporter attending prayer meetings at an important British mosque which claims to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths.
She secretly filmed sermons given to the women-only congregation in which female preachers recited extremist and intolerant beliefs.
One preacher called for adulterers, homosexuals, women who act like men and Muslim converts to other faiths to be killed, saying: “Kill him, kill him. You have to kill him, you understand. This is Islam.””
The original January 2007 Undercover Mosque documentary showed preacher Abu Usamah at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham calling for gay people to be executed.
“If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that’s my freedom of speech, isn’t it?” he told followers.
A scene also showed a preacher calling for people to “take that homosexual and throw him off a mountain.”