A ‘bigger than ever’ protest by a group of Muslim fundamentalists is being planned for Derbyshire’s upcoming Pride parade this weekend.
However, several arrests and successful prosecutions have been made against attendees of the anti-gay protests in previous years, which is not said to represent the majority of Derby’s Muslim population.
Organisers have vowed to continue despite the “injust arrest and imprisonment of our fellow Muslims”.
The Derby Muslim Action Force said this week: “The heat always seems to bring out the worst of this society and this summer is no different with the upcoming Gay Pride march … As Muslims it is our duty to forbid this major, deplorable evil of society.”
With an image of a red bar through a rainbow flag, the Force’s blog post said it would call on gays to follow “a natural way of living as detailed in Islam” and claimed to have had national support for its protest this year.
They said: “We will be speaking about the Islamic viewpoint on the issue of homosexuality in Islam, how homosexuals in society should be viewed and what the Islamic verdict is on homosexuals under an Islamic state.”
In June, Kabir Ahmed was convicted under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which makes it an offence to cause harassment, alarm or distress with threatening language or behaviour for his appearance at the 2011 pride march.
While Ahmed, 28, was given a two-year conditional discharge, three co-defendants were cleared. He had formed part of a 30-strong group protesting the event with placards reading “Homosexuality = Freedom Gone Too Far,” “Homosexuality = A Crime Against God” and “Islam is the Ultimate Truth”.
A gay couple had complained to police after Mr Ahmed spoke through a loudhailer of research showing a connection between homosexuality and paedophilia.
Earlier this year, Ahmed and two others were convicted of distributing leaflets intended to stir up hatred against gays in Derby. The three men had handed out a publication entitled ‘The Death Penalty?’ outside their mosque ahead of the gay pride parade of 2010.
The ‘Death Penalty?’ leaflet contained an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose and quoted Islamic texts suggesting execution was the way to rid society of homosexuality.