Search

Oxfam cancels event at East London Mosque over ‘homophobic’ speaker

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 January 2014

Ibrahim Hewitt says he is not homophobic

Ibrahim Hewitt says he is not homophobic

Archant

The charity Oxfam cancelled an event at the East London Mosque after it learned the headline speaker had declared gay people should be “severely punished” under Islamic law.

The East London Mosque in Whitechapel The East London Mosque in Whitechapel

It called off the event, at the mosque’s London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel last Friday, when they found speaker Ibrahim Hewitt had written a book for GCSE students calling homosexuality a “great sin”.

Mr Hewitt wrote that homosexuality is an “evil practice which could corrupt and pollute the whole society”, and should be treated like paedophilia or incest.

Oxfam media co-ordinator Alun MacDonald said that Mr Hewitt’s comments were “not in line with Oxfam’s position on homosexuality”.

He said: “We are against discrimination and what he has written is in contradiction to what we believe.”

This week the mosque stood by him, saying it regretted the cancellation of the Gaza: Through Our Eyes exhibition’s last day and would work with him again.

A spokesman said: “The mosque and centre wished to highlight the plight of the children in Gaza. We do not believe Ibrahim Hewitt’s views to be homophobic nor can we find any instance of him being so.”

Mr Hewitt denied being homophobic, saying his book was referring only to “what things could be like in an Islamic state”.

He said: “I do not, as has been alleged, ‘advocate’ violence against homosexuals. What goes on behind closed doors is between the people involved and their creator.

“However, if someone decides to make a political issue of their sexuality, then surely it is only to be expected that there will be people who disagree with them.”

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Ibrahim Hewitt is clearly on record as making anti-gay remarks.

“It is very disturbing that he and the East London Mosque are now claiming that he hasn’t expressed deeply offensive views. This calls into question their credibility and integrity.”

He added: “I think both Hewitt and the mosque owe the public and the LGBT community an apology.”

Latest East London News Stories

18:02

Residents in a tower block in Bow were left without an emergency exit for at least three days, a councillor has claimed.

16:28

The owner of a “death trap” Bethnal Green guest house has been given a six month suspended prison sentence and fined £250,000 for fire safety offences.

15:00

The pressure is on to be crowned ‘dental king’ in a national competition with student Jed Lee winning the first heat at the Queen Mary University’s dentistry school at Whitechapel.

A person has died after being hit by a train at Shenfield station just after half ten this morning.

12:00

Pupils taking GCSE at George Green’s Secondary visited Canary Wharf to hear from business experts about technological innovation in finance.

15:05

Volunteers in Tower Hamlets are needed for a nationwide food collection to help people in need this Christmas.

08:26

Police are appealing for help today to find a 23-year-old woman last seen travelling on the Underground through east London late last night.

Mobile charging points, on-board information and air conditioning are set to greet commuters when the new Docklands Light Railway trains come into operation.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now