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Homophobic hate preachers set to gather in York

This is a cross post from Hope not Hate

In just under a fortnight, over the August Bank holiday weekend, Thorpe Underwood Estate in York will play host to the Islamia Village, a weekend retreat organised by the Islamic Network Project. According to its advertising literature the Islamia Village is a four day retreat which “combine incredible lectures with amazing recreational activities you get a truly breathtaking Islamic experience. Learn, relax, and be inspired in peaceful Islamic surroundings. Islamia Village is a dream come true, a hidden gem in the heart of the countryside.”

The range of activities in such a setting does seem truly impressive, that is until you look a bit more closely into some of the speakers set to address the event. Among them are several who preach extreme hatred against homosexuals, including calls for them to be killed.

They include Murtaza Khan, who has described homosexuality as an “abominable action which goes against humanity” and stated that the correct punishment for such acts is death. Also speaking will be Assim Al-Hakeem who holds equally hostile views to homosexuality. His website also calls for ‘apostates’ – those who abandon a religion – to be killed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Assim Al-Hakeem was banned from three University campuses earlier this year.

Another speaker at the event is Abu Usamah At-Thahabi, who has also said that the punishment for homosexuality should be death. Hate seems to run through much of his preachings and he too has called for Muslims who renounce their religion to be killed “in the Islamic state”. On non-Muslims he has said: “We hate the people of the kufr (non-Muslims). We hate the kuffar.”

Finally there is Abuz Zubair, who suggests that those Muslims who believe in evolution should be killed. Responding to a Muslim who articulated support for evolution, Abuz Zubair said “the call to evolution is a call to kufr and apostasy”. He went on to quote a fatwa of Ibnal-Uthaymeen which stated that someone who teaches evolution “should be stopped by any means necessary even if it means his execution” and that if teaching continues “this person should be executed because he is an apostate and apostates are executed”.

Not everyone approves of homosexuality and of course people who follow one religion are likely to believe that theirs is preferable to another and while we should accept that people are allowed to have their own views, even to the point where we might deem them unpalatable, there comes a point where dislike of another becomes hated and intolerance. This is especially the case when violence is explicitly advocated.

Hate is hate and it should be opposed from whatever quarter it comes from. Just as we should speak out and campaign against those who promote racial superiority and those ‘Counter-Jihadists’ who vilify and demonise all Muslims so we must be prepared to speak out against those Muslims who preach hatred and violence against homosexuals, women and people of other religion.

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