Last week Oxfam cancelled an event at the East London Mosque where Ibrahim Hewitt of Interpal was due to speak. Oxfam said:
We believe that nobody should face discrimination due to their sexual orientation. We are concerned at comments about homosexuality attributed to Mr Hewitt, of which we were previously unaware, and the event has now been cancelled.
Oxfam added this:
The ‘Gaza through my eyes’ event – an exhibition of photographs taken by children in Gaza – shows a powerful perspective of life for a lost generation of youth growing up under blockade, and we look forward to working with the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre to show the exhibition in future.
This week the mosque Oxfam “look forward to working with” made its own statement on Hewitt. It is simultaneously ridiculous and revolting, in line with the trademark style of the East London Mosque:
This week the mosque stood by him, saying it regretted the cancellation of the Gaza: Through Our Eyes exhibition’s last day and would work with him again.
A spokesman said: “The mosque and centre wished to highlight the plight of the children in Gaza. We do not believe Ibrahim Hewitt’s views to be homophobic nor can we find any instance of him being so.”
By its own standards, surely Oxfam should now say it will not work with the mosque. We shall see if it does.
Meanwhile Hewitt himself finds the “should gays be executed” question just, er, too difficult to answer:
He also refused to answer a question about whether he supported the homophobic laws in some Islamic countries, where some do include death by stoning. He said to answer the question requires a much deeper discussion than could be discussed on a phone call.
None of this is in the least surprising. Hewitt’s nasty homophobia is on open display in this pamphlet. He is also a servant of Hamas. Aiding the terrorist group is the whole mission of Interpal. Here he is in Gaza with his master Ismail Haniyeh and fellow Interpal trustee Essam Mustafa.
As for the mosque, hopefully more and more people will begin to call it on its brazen lies, such as this one:
Salman Farsi, from the mosque, said booking procedures had been tightened since last year.
“Any speaker who is believed to have said something homophobic will not be allowed to use our premises, whether that is us organising an event or someone else. As for the condemnation of homophobia, our director has gone on the record on this.