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BBC sparks anger by dropping homosexuality in Islam debate from panel show

  • MJ

    The 25th of March discussion should be interesting, and telling.

  • si

    This is a mosque that in the past was investigated for people selling extremist films. Plus the area is difficult one that interestingly backs onto the gay village in Birmingham

  • Jones

    Islam at the moment is the religion at the heart of some of the most horrendous acts against gay people across the globe. Most notably states run entirely off Islamic law that regularly hang gay people publicly. Muslims cannot dodge this issue at all.

    • kane

      what, you mean one size fits all?

      • MJ

        One size fits most.

        • kane

          sure, the same size fits most in the southern states of america, eastern europe and africa

          • MJ

            Only Africa is the other place where people are executed for homosexuality. Not even in Russia. And certainly
            not in the southern U.S.

          • kane

            so, humiliating and degrading mistreatment, social outcasting, imprisonment and torture that often leads to suicide is that much more preferable to death penalty?

          • white squirrel

            but the places in Africa where gays are executed tend to be Islamic-

            not Russia and southern USA -as yet

      • Jones

        I am not saying that all Muslims are homophobic because they’re not but what I’m saying is that all Muslims need to answer for what is happening to our gay brothers and sisters across the Islamic world.

        I think only Muslims have the ability to change what is happening there.

        • MJ

          Sometimes they mumble (like they do about bombings) “..well…we don’t approve of that….” mummble, mumble. But wait til they’re the majority. Then they’ll speak up loudly. And it will be “hang the gays..” Or at least they’ll remain silent while others of their ilk hang the gays.

          • Traveller_23

            Erm, why should I have to apologise for crimes committed by barbarians in other parts of the world? I’m not IN ANY WAY complicit just because they claim to be of the same religion as me. I condemn them as every other sane person does.

        • white squirrel

          But muslims wont until they have see that a holy book is only a guide not a rule
          maybe they could find some new sayings of Mo in an old cave or something – the quran was a collection of such material in the first place after all

        • Eduard

          I bet Shia Muslims are going to sit with the Sunnis and agree about how to treat gay people nicely.
          You cannot hold unrelated Muslims responsible for what some other Musims do somewhere in the world. Those other Musims may not even recognise them as true Muslims, so do not epect them to listen to their opinions.
          What can we do is to influence as much Muslims as possible to become atheists, the same with Christians.

    • I have to agree with you. There is absolutely no excuse to remain a member of a cult that you know practices horrific abuse against others on a daily basis around the world.

      It might claim to be the religion of peace, but the actions of those who practice the religion all around the world are anything but indicative of that.

      It’s a direct contradiction to claim that your religion is peaceful while Islamic states are hanging LGBT people. That is not a religion of peace, that is a religion of control, abuse, violence and murder.

      Of course, the same can be said of Christianity and Catholicism too, with the recent violence in Russia, Uganda and Nigeria. Don’t think that just because I am critical of Islam that any other hateful club of delusional idiots gets a blank cheque.

    • Traveller_23

      No, Islam at the moment just happens to be the target of choice for the global powers that be, and the media is full of anti Islam coverage.

      Iran is the only state that regularly hangs gay people publicly. The biggest Islamic states in the world Indonesia doesn’t. And neither does Malaysia. Granted, these places also have a long way to go. I wish you’d put the criticism that way, as it would actually be correct. But instead you went for the populist, up-vote type comment with the executions.

      There are other notable forces that are grossly homophobic. Currently Russia. And the biggest reversal of rights in recent years in Africa has been driven by Christianity, notably evangelism exported by USA. And there you do have deaths, corrective rapes etc too.

      But of course, people only see what they want to see.

      • Jones

        I am not ignoring what is going on in Russia that is a completely separate issue to which I have also shown disapproval. But that is not a complete ban on homosexuality, only the ‘promotion of homosexuality’, which I do not deem to be as severe as complete criminalisation and the death penalty as in Iran.

        Islam is not being targeted because it is Islam, it is being targeted because of some of the atrocities it is committing in the name of a book. Homosexuality is scientifically proven to be something that isn’t a choice so to persecute people for just being who they are has no justification.

        • Traveller_23

          I was never arguing that Islam or indeed certain Muslims should not be criticised. I was pointing out the inaccuracy wrt the levels of violence you described. Didn’t really think you wouldn’t condemn homophobia elsewhere, I was just drawing comparison myself with Russia and Africa.

          A little bit tangential, but the fact that the Russian laws are less bad isn’t necessarily indicative of the prejudice LGBTQ people face there. By media accounts the violence seems far worse than some countries with more repressive laws.

      • kostas.lacon

        My dear , sometimes the reality and the truth are very bitter…
        You know the Muhammed ‘s opinion about homosexuals…just death.

        Jesus Christ din’t said a word against homosexuals.
        Change your religion if you need to believe …

        • Traveller_23

          Yes, I do know – in the Quran there are no negative words directed to those referred to as “men who have no desire for women”. Nor are there any reliable hadith on homosexual behaviour.

          Homophobia is Islamic countries rather is rooted in patriarchal, power hungry interpretations, which also deny rights to other groups such as women and non-Muslims.

          • Jones

            A lot of religious principle is based of of interpretation, which is why there are some Muslims which support gay right and some that don’t. But there are extremists groups in all religions who use these teachings to drive a hateful campaign which doesn’t have any scientific backing.

      • Rick

        “and the media is full of anti Islam coverage” … yeah like they make up the suicide bombings, the planes flying into buildings, the stoning of women, the rape of women and children the hanging of gays, the hostage taking of schools and killing the children (remember Chechnya?) , the killing of each other in the Middle East, and so on and so on.

        And lo and behold … you defend the religion of peece (I can’t even get myself to spell it correctly) by using other examples … well let me give you a reality check: islam is not liked by most non-islamic people recent events in Syria have shown that: there aren’t any people anymore (except for the handfull of islamists) that care…

  • George Penfold

    Islam and free speech …………………………pull the other one !

  • Cal

    More pandering to these dreary, grizzly, tiresome Muslims. Pathetic.
    Free Speech?LOL

    • MJ

      The UK just surrendered to those insane devils.

      • saintlaw

        When did it do that?

        • MJ

          Do you think the BBC would have caved if a church had objected to discussing a certain topic ?

          • kane

            but the church is not a part of minority, especially if it is church of england with its 26 lords spiritual in the house of lords

          • MJ

            kane : It’s obvious what you are. Run along now and draw a pic of Mohammed.

          • kane

            how old are you, 5?

          • funkinwolf

            No group, in the majority or minority should be allowed to silence debate in a country that claims to be free, fair and democratic. If we are all equal, then we should all equally be allowed to express our views. The right thing for the Mosque leaders to do, would have been to ask to sit on the panel as special guest and exercise their right to free speech. Interacting with the differing opinions held by the rest of the people in their community, city and country. Instead they sought to silence their fellow citizens. You cannot have equality and freedom of speech, by allowing any one group to silence another. If you do that then you’ve empowered those who wish to harm the very core principles of our society. Freedom, fairness and democracy.

          • Lamia

            So what? Does being part of a minority entitle you to shut down discussion of discrimination against another minority? If so, why?

          • Paula Thomas

            In all probability yes they would have.

  • Jon (Malaysia)

    One piece of land is no more sacred than any other piece of land, ie. Israel or Palestine. No man made building on a piece of naturally existing piece of land is more sacred than any other no matter how much that land is altered or re engineered by humans. It takes religion and mumbo jumbo spoken over that land or building to make people irrationally think one place is sacrosanct and therefore inappropriate to discuss certain topics. I think the BBC caved and the religious won a point. Another sad day for journalism. However, maybe the discussion of 25 March will be enhanced by the mosque’s reluctance. Hoping but not holding my breath. BTW…. anyone see our plane????? Anywhere??????

    • MJ

      Hope you locate that plane….SOON. The mystery is …….TOO much.

    • MJ

      The BBC wants to help that bunch keep their virulent homophobia hidden. It’s clear what’s going on.

      • Paula Thomas

        If they wanted to do they could have just not mentioned it and suppressed the film and none of us would have been any the wiser.

        I do think the producers of this programme have been incredibly stupid in not standing up to this group of homophobes but if their intention had been as you state they have hardly achieved it as both the mosque and the BBC are now thee focus of considerable attention.

  • Gareth

    I find it shocking and horribly ironic that a bbc show titled “Free Speech” would postpone, and effectively stifle a debate, when they are funded through the public.

    Of course many of these people who pay for the bbc are also from the Muslim community and there’s nothing wrong with considering their views too. But when their view, in this instance, is to silence any debate then that is wholly wrong.

    What makes this worse is that the contributors question was specifically about LGBT acceptance in the Muslim community, something which is long overdue for debate. But since the BBC decided to acquiesce to the mosques demand of censorship, it clearly shows that it is not ok to be gay and be Muslim, and now, thanks in part, to the bbc and this particular mosque, it certainly won’t be ok to be an LGBT Muslim any time in the future either.

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      The only honourable course for the BBC to have taken would have been to respond to the mosque, “Very well, if you’re not prepared to allow this question, and any question, then you can’t host the programme, so either accept the question, or we will film the show elsewhere, or we’ll cancel this edition of the show”.

      Unfortunately some individual(s) in positions of responsibility at the BBC didn’t have the gumption or the integrity to respond in the above manner. Instead they acquiesced to the demands of Muslim bigots.

      It’s time we all started taking action against this evil cult, just as we so easily take action against all the other evil cults. Islam can’t be “Hands off!”

      Go print out a picture of Mohammed NOW, and post it publicly! These people will only learn if they are TAUGHT by us.

      • Jean – Paul

        I agree. BBC should have changed the venue.

        It’s getting more and more difficult to see the bulldog in the UK.

  • David

    I find it interesting that the BBC chose to tell everyone that it should have been discussed and the mosque stopped it, they could have just not said anything. The BBC actually showed them for what they are, how they can’t cope with free speech and are a repressed and horrible thing. This didn’t do the Muslims any good at all and I suspect that this will be a big part of the discussion on the 25th. I’m actually glad the BBC chose this path as it has highlighted the religion front and centre.

    • kane

      when two holy cows of pc world lock horns at bbc, there can be only one winner

    • Cal

      Well, I’m sure they considered hiding it but feared accusations of collusion and cover-up after the inevitable leak.

    • The BBC would not have had any choice in the matter. This was not a noble decision to highlight the issue, this was a farce of poor decision making that they knew they would have to face at some time in the future. They took the easy way out and complied with religious despots in order to continue.

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      Nice attempt to attribute honour to the decision-makers at the BBC, David, but, no, they responded in a cowardly manner like the child at school who won’t stand his or her ground against wrong-doing but satisfies their conscience by saying, “But I’ll certainly tell on them when I get home to Mummy and Daddy”!

      No. We all have to take responsibility IN THE MOMENT. And the BBC have FAILED to do that in this instance. All they’ve done is a bit of face-saving post-event.

    • Paul J

      The BBC had no choice but to explain what had happened. Too many people knew the topic was planned to be discussed for them to keep it quiet as if they had tried to cover up their capitulation to the mosque, it would have leaked out and the BBC would have been slaughtered.

  • Colin

    BBC I am normally one of your very positive supporters but really this is not good enough. Either your researchers were extremely sloppy or you let the let the muslim community off without holding them to account. Disgraceful

    The panelists should have refused to continue as they had just been censored. Appalled.

    Bowing to any religion is not free speech….Audience dump the program.

    • I absolutely agree. The BBC is being mismanaged at all levels by the looks of things.

      If this decision was made on the evening of the broadcast, the Imam’s should have been told “you do not dictate policy, if you refuse to discuss the issues then we will cancel the live show and walk.”

      Then, if that was inevitable, the BBC should have made a statement on air explaining the situation and ending the broadcast with all panel members leaving.

      I am sick to death of religious groups demanding respect and rights while refusing to respect the rights of other citizens. I don’t give a damn what religious cult a person belongs to, there is no excuse for it. We live in a free and secular society, and if you don’t like it, fu*k off to a country where religious despots rule.

      The notion that the BBC were censored on their own broadcast about Freedom of Speech is not even funny, it’s disturbing. This doesn’t only suggest that Islam and this Mosque are unwilling to live peacefully in our society, it suggests that the BBC is a whimpering Poodle willing to cower and sensor itself on important issues.

      Whoever made this decision should be fired, there should be another debate about this outside of a Mosque with the Imam/s responsible to explain their attitude, and it should open up a larger debate about just how free our nation is, just how impartial the BBC is, and just how backward Islam is.

  • Rehan

    “Deep concerns” — about a programme called ‘Free Speech’? Why the f%*# did the mosque agree to host the programme in the first place?

    Pffft. It would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing.

    • Rumbelow

      “Free Speech Denied” would have been a more appropriate title for the
      BBC show.

  • Helge Vladimir Tiller

    Islam and LGBTQ-Rights needs to be discussed openly. Through several years I have known gay persons from Iran (–mostly ! ) And I’ve heard a lot about the difficulties they have experienced in their home country. Law Schools in Islam ( except from one ) prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality. But homosexual activity ( also amongst heterosexuals is VERY COMMON ). Like it is in Europe ! BUT people with a gay Identity is being harassed and discriminated. Worse than in any other country in the world ! This is a fact in so many countries in the Islamic regions ! I need to say that I have met so many nice and warm gay persons from Iran. They are polite and lovely to know.—BBC- never mind these ultra conservative imams. It is absolutely necessary to discuss this topic. So og further ! Gay People from muslim countries are just as lovely as gay persons from The UK—or Norway. That is for sure-

  • Helge Vladimir Tiller

    I have written this before, but I repeat , Since Khomeini came into power in Iran-1979- activists say that between 6000 and 9000 thousand gay and lesbians (+transgender ) persons have been hanged in this Islamic Republic. BBC, are You listening !?

    • kane

      ‘…activists say that between 6000 and 9000 thousand gay and lesbians (+transgender )’…

      as far as i am aware, iran is the only islamc state where transgenderism is actively promoted as a solution to the ‘gay problem’

      • Paula Thomas

        Actually it is sort of promoted in Oman too.

      • Helge Vladimir Tiller

        In Iran only He or She is fully accepted. So a reassignment surgery is promoted for transsexuals. They are looked upon as sick persons needing to BE A SHE OR A HE ! Transgender people are being very discriminated. And after an eventual “change” they often end up as prostitutes, without possibilities to get a decent job. The propaganda is so hard ( also from families ) that many ORDINARY gays have gone through reassignment surgery just to avoid harassment. And ended up as misfits—I sincerely wish that BBC could make a program about Iran and Our dear gay, lesbian and transgender sisters and brothers in this huge country. ( Greetings to you, kane ! )

  • jazatw

    The BBC, and I speak as a massive supporter and would be happy to pay for it, is oftentimes its own worst enemy. Firstly if you are going to have a panel of speakers FFS make sure it is politically balanced. Secondly what idiot agreed to set the event in a mosque and then allow them to dictate editorial policy?

  • kane

    not surprised in slightest, bbc is not exactly that gay friendly. on the day that equal marriage was passed in uk, their main news bulletins ignored this fact completely

  • Serkan M

    How surprising. More censorship from Islam. The only reason Muslims won’t allow it in a mosque is because the REALITY slowly eats away at their religion just like it has with Christianity.

    Not long before they all die out.

    • white squirrel

      which is probably why they are so afraid of change -the Islamic fear of gays shows how small and feeble Al La is – if their Al La had any power [or even existence!] then they would be far more tolerant of gays and women because they would not seem a threat to their weak deity

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      “Not long before they all die out”? If only, Serkan, if only. But I am afraid that just as Xianity and Islam have ruled millions worldwide for centuries, they will continue to do so, particularly if YOU and I don’t take action TODAY in whatever way we can.

      Go print out a picture of Mohammed NOW and post it publicly!

  • Daniel

    Rather unsurprising that another religion doesn’t like freedom of speech.

  • Truth

    Yet again we see that, where religion is concerned, ‘Free Speech’ is confined to their side of the discussion. For the BBC to have given-in to this, is totally outrageous. They should have cancelled the whole programme rather than allow some self-appointed moral guardians to dictate the terms of the show. It is a disgrace that, in the 21st century, we are STILL pandering – and giving deference to – ‘belief’. Believe whatever the hell you want. But keep it where it belongs … in the home.

  • white squirrel

    Islam really does need to grow up and start to look forward into the future not backwards into the past.

  • Jock S.Trap

    1. Why the censorship? This is the UK damn it!

    2. There are More of the LGBT community in Britain that there are Muslims.

    3. This just proves that the BBC censors don’t need my licence fee if they don’t want to represent me.

    4. It also proves that the Islamic religion is not able to contribute to British society.

  • WuRi Kua

    Only a week and 3 disturbing news about Muslim that I’ve read. First was Katy Perry, second was about a K-pop song, and now this. Different stories, same problem. I’m just speechless. Are they attempting to stop people express their views freely because it offends them?
    Now I have to try hard not to be narrow-minded…`

  • Traveller_23

    No, in Africa the homophobia is driven by Evangelical Christians funded by the USA. Please get your facts right before posting.

  • Traveller_23

    As a queer Muslim, I really wanted this discussion to take place in a mosque because it would have made it so much more powerful. There are plenty of Muslims who support me and my identity, and maybe their voices could have been heard here and it would have detoxed the narrative a little.

    However, this article doesn’t really contain the most up to date information. The BBC didn’t postpone the show due to the mosque’s concerns, but because security concerns brought on by threats to the mosque. Blame the extremists who made said threats rather than the mosque itself.

    • Jean – Paul

      prove it.

  • soapbubble

    Scratch beneath the surface, and you”‘ll find that most Muslims are homophobic, even if unconsciously so. I don’t trust them at all. They are also humourless. And although UKIP is not the way forward, the less of them here the better I say.

  • Paul J

    This is not a surprise. The BBC broadcasts a programme called “the Big Questions” on Sunday mornings which most weeks provides a platform for religious bigots to spew out their homophobic opinions. On the few occasions I watched EastEnders, any mention of Christian and Syed’s relationship was accompanied by Syed’s mother or someone else screeching about how disgusting and offensive it was to be gay. The truth is that the BBC’s management is only concerned with keeping the licence fee and I think they are terrified of organised religion mounting an anti BBC campaign.

  • Joe

    Muslim society are homophobic and far worser than extremist Christians. In the Muslim world gays are stone to death. I want LGBT community stand against homophobic Muslims, and help gay Muslims suffering persecution in the Muslim world and Muslim communities living in the west.

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  • Psychologist

    I urge all of you – don’t JUST complain HERE about the BBC bias and collusion with Islamic homophobia, by censoring the question, bowing to Islamic pressure … CONTACT THE BBC and COMPLAIN TO THEM !

    Religious beliefs should NEVER be given a higher priority than human rights to be free from discrimination, bigotry, hate and aggression. The BBC were WRONG – so TELL THEM !
    The show is called “FREE SPEECH” The irony of the BBC censorship about LGBT rights in Islam is outrageous !

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