The leader of a Birmingham mosque has caused further controversy as he has reiterated a claim that “it is not possible to be both gay and a Muslim.”

On 12 March, at the request of the mosque, a question was removed from a BBC3 debate show filmed in the Birmingham Central Mosque, of “when will it be right to be Muslim and gay”. The live programme featured Asifa Lahore, who calls himself Britain’s “first and only Muslim drag queen.”

The BBC denied that the show was censored.

The chairman of the mosque, Dr Mohammad Naseem since wrote an open letter comparing homosexuality to paedophilia, murder and gambling.

He wrote: “Human beings do have weaknesses and tendencies which are not socially acceptable and so they try to have a control over them and do not give in.

“A compulsive murderer, gambler, paedophile etc. could present the same logic and ask for accommodation by the society. Are we going to accept on the basis of freedom of action?”

On Monday, appearing on Channel 4 News, Dr Naseem defended his letter, claiming he meant the comparison to be a “similie”.

When asked by Cordelia Lynch, presenting, he said: “It was a simile – a simile highlights a common characteristic, it does not establish sameness.”

The chairman of a Birmingham mosque was this week denounced by LGBT Muslim support group Imaan for his comments about homosexuality.