Man, its a full-time job just fact-checking Andrew Gilligan and his smears.
He says today that East London Mosque has already broken its commitment to banning homophobic speakers from ELM.
This time, however, it has only taken just over a week for the mosque’s bad faith to emerge. The day after tomorrow, 29 June, it welcomes to its premises an organisation called Sex and Relationship Education Islamic (SRE Islamic), one of whose main purposes is to campaign for “the unacceptability of homosexuality which is often portrayed as a lifestyle choice.” That’s a quote from the first sentence of SRE Islamic’s statement of values.
SRE Islamic is run by members of Hizb ut Tahrir, a racist and extremist group which believes that Muslims should not mix with non-Muslims.
I have no love lost for HuT – but perhaps Gilligan should spend more time reading his own mates. The two people mentioned by Gilligan left HuT ages ago.
Second, while its true that SRE Islamic aren’t exactly fans of homosexuality – such is the position of Christian groups too. There is a difference between inviting a preacher who calls for the death of gays, and some intolerant people who say that most Islamic preachers say homosexuality is not acceptable within Islam (which is a fact).
The SRE Islamic event at ELM is jointly with the ‘Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child’ – a Christian group. I wonder why Andrew Gilligan did not include that fact? If Gilligan is going to be fair and balanced on this, I’d like him to campaign for Christian organisations who disapprove of homosexuality to be banned from Churches too.
And to be clear: I’m not a fan of SRE Islamic at all. Neither am I of religious bigotry. But here is an example of Gilligan selectively targeting Muslims while saying nothing of Christian groups on the matter. I oppose religiously inspired bigotry – but a belief in civil liberties and free speech requires accepting that sometimes people will say things you don’t like.
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Filed in: Civil liberties,Religion