News

Ex-Muslims accused of  ‘Islamophobia’ at London Pride

Ex-Muslims accused of ‘Islamophobia’ at London Pride

The organisers of last weekend London’s Pride festival have received a formal complaint from a mosque accused on a banner, pictured above, of inciting the murder of gay people.

East London Mosque spokesman Salman Farsi told the Standard:

We’ve raised a complaint with the co-chairs of the event that the group – [the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain] –was inciting hatred against Muslims, and in particular [in relation] to our good name, based on absolutely groundless reasons.

Ex-Muslims were seen carrying a series of controversial signs during the march through the capital last weekend.

Banners bearing slogans such as “Allah is gay” and “Fuck Islamic homophobia” were carried at the event by members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), who were a participating group listed on Pride’s website.

Farsi added:

Our track record for challenging homophobia in East London is quite well known.

He citing campaigns to condemn “gay-hate” stickers that sprung up around Tower Hamlets several years ago and the mosque’s public condemnations of attacks on LGBT people.

For us to see such a mainstream event that is supposed to celebrate tolerance and love used as a hate platform was really quite shocking. One of the signs said ‘Islamophobia is an oxymoron’.

Our religion doesn’t promote hatred or homophobia. Yes, there might be theological topics dealing with homosexuality in Islam, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting hatred and homophobia.

He added that the mosque had asked for an apology from Pride and a probe into what had happened.

Lucy Masoud, a firefighter and LGBT secretary for the Fire Brigades Union, stood next to CEMB activists at Pride and told the Standard she was also disturbed by the slogans.

The group describes itself as a safe space for gay people and former Muslims. Obviously I support that. What I don’t support is people holding up signs saying ‘Fuck Islam’ at Pride.

She published a blog on the FBU website on Wednesday in which she condemned the banners as Islamophobic, but it was taken down as the union had yet to agree a common stance on the matter.

About 20 CEMB activists marched on Saturday with placards bearing a range of messages from “We’re here, we’re kaffir, get used to it” to “Allah is gay”. Several wore body paint across their chests depicting eyes crying rainbow-coloured tears.

Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for CEMB and a Freethinker columnist, said the group was protesting the treatment of LGBT people in states under hardline Islamic leadership, such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran – where homosexuality is a capital offence.

Namazie told the Standard it was “apt” to name the East London Mosque on the placards.

At Pride, we were highlighting the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men – 14 if we include Daesh-held territories.

Namazie said that the signs did not say “Fuck Islam” but “Fuck Islamic homophobia”, adding:

In my view Islam, like all religions, is homophobic. Why is it not possible to say this without fear of reprisal or accusations of Islamophobia?

She said:

Pride is full of ‘God is gay’ and ‘Jesus had two fathers’ placards as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet hold a sign saying ‘Allah is gay’ – as we did – and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing offence.

Pride has also written to East London Mosque to say it has referred the complaint to its community advisory board, which assesses every parade entry after each year’s march, and “decide on whether CEMB will be allowed to march again in the years ahead.”

• In a piece published in our op-ed section below, Maryam Namazie provides an in-depth explanation as to why the CEMB had joined the Pride event.

14 responses to “Ex-Muslims accused of ‘Islamophobia’ at London Pride”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Yes, there might be theological topics dealing with homosexuality in Islam, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting hatred and homophobia.

    There might be political topics dealing with Judaism in Nazi dogma, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting anti-Semitism!

  2. Trevor Blake says:

    The translation of “hardline Islamic leadership”is “Islam as practiced for centuries in agreement with all literature, traditions and sects of Islam.” It is _not_ throwing gays off rooftops that is the modern extremist distortion of Islam.

    May the hurt feelings against Islam never end until it is as neutered and secular as modern Christianity. And even then…

    But I wish no violence against any Muslim. Violence is their specialty.

  3. L.Long says:

    I would not give a shit what the representative of (insert bigoted dogma) said! HE is A LIAR! Their books o’BS says hate-intolerant-kill so until their dogma is officially changed they are hate-filled bigots!

  4. Screwdriver. says:

    Well let’s see if any of the Ex-muslims at the event, who will have been photographed by hard line muslims wanting to identify apostates, gets what, according to the demands of sharia, they deserve. If nothing happens then ok. So let’s see what happens.

  5. porko says:

    Sorry for OT but I just came across this super arrogant gargantuan conceit of the rcc …

    There Are Only 7 Women In The World Allowed To Wear White When Meeting The Pope. Here’s Why.
    http://www.providr.com/meet-the-women-allowed-to-wear-white-with-pope/?utm_source=Shared&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=providr

  6. DE Baker says:

    Why have you done a lazy cut & paste directly from The Evening Standards smear against CEMB?

    You know very well that the vile hatemongering East London Mosque dose indeed promote MURDER of LGBT & Apostates, yet you CHOOSE to leave these inconvenient fact out, why?

    SHAME on the ‘freethinker’ & SHAME on YOU as the editor.

  7. Barry Duke says:

    @ DE Baker: My original intention was to incorporate Maryam’s response to the East London’s mosque complaint in the main report, but when I realised to what lengths she had gone to expose the mosque I chose to run it in full in a separate, linked piece, posted simultaneously.

  8. Stuart H. says:

    I’d hope this silly and dishonest complaint is flatly rejected by the Pride organisers.
    OK, Pride is meant to put across a positive message about gays playing their full part in the community, but if it isn’t also letting flat-earth homophobes know that their brands of cretinism are no longer welcome there wouldn’t be much point in holding it, would there?

  9. […] Today’s strip is inspired by something that happened at last week’s London Pride march. […]

  10. […] Today’s strip is inspired by something that happened at last week’s London Pride march. […]

  11. […] Today’s strip is inspired by something that happened at last week’s London Pride march. […]

  12. […] in Pride  was met with outrage from devout worshippers and British Muslim organisations – the East London Mosque in particular – but the group rejected criticism of their actions, […]