Standing up to Gay Free Zones

This is a quick update on a story which was covered recently here. The BBC reports that East End residents are beginning to fight back against the ‘gay free zone’ posters, which have been glued to lampposts and railings near gay pubs in Shoreditch and outside a Whitechapel School.

This group of residents firmly rejects the message of the posters but is responding in a peaceful and positive way, altering the message of hate into one of love, and adding statements of love and tolerance from the works of famous writers.  They are anxious not to single out any one group, as actor Matthew Blake explains adroitly:

“We don’t want to blame any particular group for this,” said Mr Blake.

“And if we did, we wouldn’t want to tar everyone in a group with the same brush.”

As readers will probably remember, the posters include references to the Qur’an. Although some may be quick to note that other Muslim groups might not have responded quite so positively on this issue, it’s still very heartening to read the following statement from Mohammed Abbasi, co-director of the Association of British Muslims.

“There is nothing in the Koran against Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) people … Allah has honoured every son and daughter of Adam, so such a hateful message is not only morally and ethically wrong but actually un-Islamic.”

The full statement from the Association can be read here.

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