Human rights activist Peter Tatchell has called on the UK authorities to revoke the visa of an Islamic hate preacher, Shaykh Hamza Sodagar, above.
US-based Sodagar, according to this report, has began a series of lectures in London. He is noted for advocating death for homosexuals, saying in a video that there are five ways of disposing of gays:
One – the easiest one maybe – chop their head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth – a combination of the above.
The American-born preacher’describes himself as:
A role model for young Muslims all around the world.
In a free society, Hamza Sodagar has a right to believe that homosexuality is sinful but not to preach about ways to kill lesbians and gay men. Many people with far less extreme views, who have never advocated violence, have been banned from entering the UK.
Calling for death to LGBT people crosses a red line. The Home Office was wrong to grant him a visa and should now revoke it.
His call coincided with news that a Pakistani scholar, Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai, above, has been told to get out of Australia after it emerged that he called for all Jews to be wiped out in a 2012 video.
Mustafai had delivered talks at the Ghausia Masjid in Blacktown and the Al-Madinah Masjid in Liverpool.
Ghausia Masjid’s imam Hafiz Raza, who organised Mustafai ‘s speaking tour of Australia tour, didn’t respond to questions about the visit or the 2012 video titled “Jews are the enemies of Islam and the real peace”.
However, after Fairfax Media alerted the Pakistan Association of Australia to the video, they called the Ghausia Masjid who decided to cancel Mr Mustafai’s talks in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and ordered him to return home.
Association President Abbas Khan said Pakistani Australians are deeply committed to harmony in Australia and he was shocked by the video.
He said he met Mustafai and the scholar said the video didn’t reflect his opinions. It was a quote from a book.
Khan added that Mustafai has given hundreds of sermons about peace and following the laws of the land but his tour would be cancelled to prevent any misunderstanding.
The whole Australian community has embraced Pakistanis with warm hearts and true spirits and we will not support or join anything that will deter them.
Naela Chohan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Australia, said the views espoused in the video were naive and would be equally rejected in Pakistan.
I don’t know why people are given such exposure when their views are so ignorant. Islam is about respecting all faiths.
She said a clear distinction is drawn between freedom of speech and hate speech in Pakistan.
Spreading hatred against any religion is banned. It is my earnest hope that in the West similar action be taken against all those who spread hatred against any religion be it Jews, Muslims, Christians or any other faith.
Greens NSW MP Mehreen Faruqi, who migrated from Pakistan in 1992 and became the first Muslim member of an Australian parliament, was shocked by the video.
I am appalled and absolutely shocked to see someone who is supposed to be a Muslim scholar spouting such hate-filled speech.
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, said the video spread “textbook anti-Semitic lies”.
He said the federal government needed to “seriously examine” the process that enabled Mustafai’s visit.
If the public truly understood the extremist and bigoted rhetoric espoused in the speeches and their potential potency, they would not want this leader speaking to impressionable young men and women and poisoning their hearts and minds.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection wouldn’t comment on the case but a spokesman said the government “takes very seriously” its role of refusing visas on character grounds.