Hate crime inquiry into 'anti-gay' Sacranie

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The head of the Muslim Council of Britain is being investigated by police after denouncing homosexuality as immoral and claiming it spreads disease.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie also provoked outrage last week when he complained that civil partnerships risked damaging society's foundations.

Scotland Yard's community safety unit, which investigates homophobia and hate crime, is considering whether Sir Iqbal has broken telecommunications laws or the 1986 Public Order Act, which forbids the use of "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress or thereby".

Sir Iqbal made the comments in an interview with Radio 4's PM programme on the impact of civil partnerships, the first of which took place in December.

Asked if homosexuality was harmful to society, he said: "It is not acceptable. Each of our faiths tells us that it is harmful and, I think, if you look into the scientific evidence that has been available in terms of the various forms of other illnesses and diseases that are there, surely it points out that where homosexuality is practised there is a greater concern in that area."