Gay Muslim advocate Omar Kuddus demands a swift response to the students who called on gays to be killed for kissing
GSN reported on Tuesday (19 February) about a Manchester student who secretly filmed an extremist Muslim at his Students’ Union saying gays should be executed.
Colin Cortbus, a Middle East studies student at the university in north-west England, used a small camera to film the event. It was organized by the Muslim-led Global Aspirations of Women student group.
He asked whether God would agree to gay men being stoned to death. He was told he would.
The chair of the meeting even said if two gay men were to be seen kissing outside the Students’ Union building would be justification for the death penalty, calling homosexuality an ‘atrocity’ and saying she would not feel remorse for them being killed.
Cortbus told them other Muslims wouldn’t share such extreme views but were told ‘a lot of people would’.
The question I would like to put to the Global Aspirations of Women group is exactly who these ‘lot of people’ are?
It is totally unacceptable that such extremist views advocating violence, and hatred towards homosexuals are allowed or even exist in modern Britain. Especially when it is falsely made in the name of my religion, Islam, which in its true form, as expressed in the Koran, promotes peace and acceptance.
My views on Islam and homosexuality are well documented on GSN and elsewhere in the media. Put simply homosexuality is not sinful for Muslims.
The meeting’s chair stated gay relationships do not lead to ‘social cohesion’. But I believe Islam should welcome the love gay and lesbian couples share with each other and allow them to have nikahs, traditional marriage contracts. There’s no reference in the Koran stating that should not be allowed.
To be clear to these fanatics, homosexuality is not a sin in the Koran. And during the times of the first Caliphs, no sahabi (companion) of Muhammad could quote a saying or decision relating to those engaging in ‘liwat’ or ‘lutiyya’.
Have the Global Aspirations of Women members and chair actually read the Koran? Their comments are un-Islamic and have no foundation in my religion. I can only assume they have been indoctrinated by fundamentalist extremists and imams who would like their own interpretation of my religion taken as gospel.
What is of further concern to me, not only as a Muslim who feels that my religion is being falsely retranslated but as an advocate and activist, is the group’s blatant advocating of hatred, which goes against Britain’s laws. We do not live in a Muslim state, nor do we have Sharia law. I do sincerely hope the British police take action against their comments as there can be no doubt they are inciting a hate crime.
It is not only liberal Muslims who need to stand up against this, but also the general population and the university authorities. We must demand justice – particularly that the university ban the group as their comments and actions go against British and Sharia law.
At the moment the Students’ Union is investigating. They have assured GSN the statements themselves will take top priority but they are also probing the fact the filming was clandestine. The University of Manchester, meanwhile, refuses to step in at this stage.
But regardless of the fact this video was filmed in secret the individuals in question must be made to stand by their statements and prosecuted for spreading their hate. I am sorry but there is no room for discussion on that, either by the police or the university authorities.
Colin Cortbus sent a statement to me, saying: ‘The softly-softly approach by some student unions and politicians towards extremist incitement has to end. We should be proud of the universal values of democracy, liberty and equality and have a duty to rigorously defend them from extremists of all natures and political camps (including the far-right delusionists who want to ban the burqa).
‘I was deeply disappointed that the first thing Student Union officer Cat Gray mentioned when commenting on the issue was the secret filming, not the extremist homophobic incitement. Individuals in her position should show somewhat more backbone and address the vile filth these extremists spouted more directly.
‘The group exposed in my videos is not reflective of the values of mainstream Muslims in this country.
‘The idea of punishing or banning homosexuality has virtually no roots in the pluralist and multifaceted Islamic tradition, but is rooted in the absurd teachings of radical reactionary modernists such as Said Qutb, Maududi and Qaradawi, who are also closely linked to abhorrent modern islamicised anti-semitism.
The vast amount of debate this news has generated has indicated the disgust people feel for this group’s views. There’s been a suggestion we should stage a mass gay kissing ‘flash mob’ event outside the university. That took the words right out of my mouth – Manchester University needs a mass demonstration to show there is nothing wrong with being a gay Muslim, like myself. We have to illustrate to those who think they are holier than thou that its their behavior that is unacceptable and will not be condoned.
I would like to see someone try to stone me to death for taking part in such an action as the laws of this land are only those that need to be respected.
As someone pointed out on the GSN report ‘Attempting to argue with religious teachings on the ground of theology will be in vain. However, building secular societies will not. Civic laws and religious teachings are competing to instruct us how we should conduct our lives. The only way to ensure everybody gets treated fairly is to establish a secular society based on sound judicial systems. Religion, of any kind, should be subject to legal regulation and, when breaching civic law, subject to prosecution.’
It’s important to remember, Sharia law is only for Muslims and Muslims only. As Sharia law does not apply to non-Muslims, no Muslim can enforce such laws onto others of another faith and tell them how to behave or conduct themselves. Sadly this is something a minority of young Muslims forget, fail to comprehend, or simply have not been taught by their imams.
Sharia also forbids Muslims from taking the law into our own hands, even in an Islamic country.
What the Muslim youth must be reminded by the imams is we are all members of one nation, a multicultural, multi-faith country. In Britain the laws of the land prohibit discrimination, hatred and intolerance. Those are the laws we all must obey.
But there is some hope. In the recent vote to introduce gay marriage in England and Wales, eight Muslim Members of Parliament voted in favor, only one voted against and two abstained. It shows British Muslims attitudes on LGBT issues are changing and the old views no longer have a place in modern Islamic culture.