The chairman of one of Europe’s largest mosques has compared gay people to serial killers, gamblers and pedophiles.
On BBC3’s panel show ‘Free Speech’, aired last week live from Birmingham Central Mosque, a question was asked by a Muslim drag queen when it would be accepted to be both Muslim and gay.
But after an introductory clip was shown, presenter Rick Edwards said the issue would be tackled at a later date as the mosque had ‘expressed deep concerns with having this discussion here’.
Mohammed Naseem, chairman of the mosque, said he had not been told the programme would discuss homosexuality until 20 minutes before it was broadcast.
He has now defended his decision to bar the discussion.
In a letter to Huff Post UK, Naseem said: ‘There are people with homosexual tendency in Muslim countries but they respect the law and control their desire as others do.
‘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?’
Homosexuality was not a topic suitable for television, Naseem says, adding ‘specialists in the fields of zoology, botany, genetics, sociology’ should investigate it
In a statement, the BBC said: ‘Out of respect to the Birmingham Central Mosque, who hosted the programme, the decision was made to delay the debate on Muslim gay rights to a future programme.
‘The topic will be raised and debated in full in the edition of Free Speech airing on 25 March.’