A Muslim preacher who said homosexuality was ‘unnatural’ and gays needed to be ‘treated’ has been barred from speaking at an event for the Islamic Society at the University of Hertfordshire today.
Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem had been invited by the University of Hertfordshire Student Union Islamic Society to speak on ‘Marriage in Islam’ at today’s event but will now not be allowed onto the campus.
Student Rights, a watchdog group tackling extremism on university campuses, drew the university’s attention to Al-Hakeem’s statements about gays.
Al-Hakeem writes on his website: “As Muslims, we follow what Allah commands us without seeking the reason or the wisdom behind it. This is a true sign of our submission to the will of Allah.
“Homosexuality is not natural. If people were allowed to do so, illnesses would spread among them (aids) and they will not reproduce. It takes all the bashfulness and good character of people and turns them into animals that seek only their sexual satisfaction through weird ways.”
In response to question of whether being gay was wrong from someone who wished to convert to Islam, he said homosexuality is “not something that is natural” and is “an abnormality which must be treated”.
In response to a question by a female reader whose husband frequently required her to have sex with him, he said: “You should answer his calls as this is not phisically [sic] hurting you. If you can’t do that for no legitimate reason, you are sinful. You should ask him to marry another woman or to divorce you.”
Raheem Kassam, the director of Student Rights said: “It is encouraging that vile views such as those espoused by Al-Hakeem are not tolerated at Hertfordshire University. They would not be tolerated in open society and nor should university students be subjected to them.
“We’re delighted that what should be ‘common sense’ has prevailed this time – but all too often preachers like Al-Hakeem are paraded around university campuses as ‘experts’ and manage to disseminate their hateful ideas, dressing them up as scripture and radicalising young people. It has to stop.”
The University’s LGBT+ Society said “extreme instances of homophobia” filled it with “sorrow and concern”.
It added: “The LGBT+ Society here at the University of Hertfordshire provides a safe place for LGBT+ people, and if anyone experiences any sort of homophobia (as a result of this event or otherwise), they should contact us or the University in the first instance”.
The Society announced that the invitation had been rescinded and that correct procedures had not been followed in inviting the preacher, who has over 25,000 followers on Facebook.
PinkNews.co.uk has approached the university’s Islamic Society for comment.