A London university has been criticised for allowing a preacher – who suggested gay people should suffer violence – to speak at an event.
The Huffington Post reports Haitham al-Haddad spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on Monday.
Student LGBT campaigners at SOAS have criticised the decision.
Nia Roberts, a student at SOAS, wrote on the university rants Facebook page: “Semantics aside, if he comes into SOAS he will be entering and given a platform in what is supposed to be a safe space for us and making a considerable portion of the student population uncomfortable.
“Consider the number of teenage suicides because of bullying related to being LGBT, on top of everyday reproduction of homophobia in all platforms from jokes, conversation to attacks… that goes for sexism too.”
Abby Emery added: “How can you say that homophobia and sexism aren’t a “serious threat”? A large proportion of the student population face daily “threats” because they are female or LGBTQ+. To the country, maybe, but to individual people and their humanity??”
A spokesperson for the student union said: “The event was stewarded to ensure it complied with our Equality & Diversity policy, and it stayed on the topic of Islamic finance. We have received no formal complaints.”
Along with homophobic violence, among Haddad’s many extremist views include bringing back the stoning of adulterers, punishing ‘traitors’ of religion with death, and advocating female genital mutilation (FGM).
According to the website Islam24, in an article entitled “Standing up against Homosexuality and LGBTs,” Haddad stated: “Some absurdly argue that homosexual inclinations are inherited through one’s genetics. However ridiculous such a claim may be, even if accepted for the argument’s sake, it still does not justify the criminal act.”
Quoting the Prophet Mohammed, Haddad then went on to suggest that gay people should suffer violence.
He wrote: “And (remember) Lot, when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in all that has been created? You practise your lusts on men instead of women; you are but a people transgressing beyond bounds.’”
Haddad continued: “And the answer of his people was only that they said: ‘Drive them out of your town; these are indeed people who want to be pure!’ Then we saved him and his family – except his wife, she was of those who remained behind. And we rained down on them a rain (of stones). See how came about the end of the criminals!”