Universities cancel Muslim cleric’s speaking tour over concerns about his anti-gay views
Mufti Ismail Menk has described same-sex acts as ‘filthy’ and ‘wrong’
A Muslim cleric who preaches that gay people are worse than animals is at the centre of a fierce “free speech” row after being invited to speak at universities across the country.
Mufti Ismail Menk was due to visit six universities – Oxford, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Glasgow – next week. But the speaking tour was cancelled after student unions and university officials expressed concern about his views.
The Zimbabwean cleric, who studied in Saudi Arabia, has described same-sex acts as “filthy,” “wrong” and synonymous with “acts of immorality”. He has been recorded as saying: “With all due respect to the animals, [gay people] are worse than those animals.”
The Independent contacted all of the universities listed on the tour and each one said it had not officially invited Mr Menk to speak. Leeds, Cardiff and Glasgow University had already said they would not be hosting him on campus.
Mr Menk was believed to have been invited by the universities’ Muslim students’ associations, many of whom were still advertising the event on their Facebook pages this afternoon. Glasgow University Muslim Association described the event as a “wonderful opportunity” on social media.
Cardiff University Islamic Society changed its Facebook photo to a picture of Mr Menk. University of Leicester’s Islamic Society described him as “entertaining, yet very pious” on its social media page. Leeds University Union Islamic Society withdrew its invitation two days ago after realising his views.
The National Union of Students said Mr Menk’s “reported comments are very concerning”. Ruth Hunt of Stonewall said: “Universities should always remain mindful that they have a duty to protect all of their students and to ensure balance in university discourse.”
The Tayyibun Institute, which was organising the tour, issued a statement saying: “It is our duty to promote peace, tolerance, equality and justice, acknowledging the presence of the diverse faiths and inclinations in our midst.”
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall
- 1 Dentist who illegally killed Cecil the lion blames local guides for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 5 Walter Palmer: American dentist revealed as the killer of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe
£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: This central London prima...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...