Hotel chain asked to cancel conference with ‘anti-gay hate preachers’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The hotel chain Ibis has been urged to cancel a Muslim conference which includes speakers who have called for gays to be killed.

Gay campaigners said that events would be cancelled if speakers had called for the death of Muslims.

The Ibis Hotel in Earls Court, London, will host the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) conference on Sunday.

Speakers include Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick, who was recorded saying that the Islamic position on homosexuality is “death” and the Muslims will have to do more than “call names” to counter it.

Another speaker is Abdur-Raheem Green, who is said to have written on his website that adultery and homosexuality must be treated “harshly” to protect society and that “a slow and painful death by stoning” is the punishment.

The conference is titled ‘Changing The World Through Dawah (preaching)’ and is billed as “one of the most groundbreaking events to happen in the UK for the last ten years”.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is calling for the Ibis group to cancel the conference’s booking, saying that events calling for Muslims to be killed would not be allowed.

He said that five more conference speakers – Shaykh Ala El Sayed, Shaykh Yusuf Estes, Shaykh Shady Suleiman, Hamza Tzortzis and Yusuf Chambers – had made anti-gay statements.

Mr Tatchell said:”The Ibis Hotel group should not facilitate speakers who promote homophobic discrimination and violence. They should cancel this booking.

“Neither the government nor the police would allow an event with speakers who had called for the killing of Muslims to ‘keep society pure’ and stop the spread of their religion. Such extreme anti-Muslim hate speech would not be tolerated.

“The event would be stopped and the speakers arrested if they expressed those views. Why the double standards?”

Mr Tatchell added that gay and lesbian people should boycott Ibis hotels.

According to his gay group OutRage!, the headline speakers at Sunday’s conference are associates of the hate preachers Dr Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips, both of whom have been banned from entering Britain by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

No one from the Islamic Education and Research Academy was available to comment this afternoon and was told that staff were busy preparing for the conference.

In a June 2009 press release, the organisation responded to accusations of extremism by saying that its speakers were “committed to presenting Islam based upon its original sources and in accordance with mainstream Islamic scholarship”.

Claiming that quotes had been taken out of context, the group continued: “Hence the accusations that our speakers are ‘radical’, ‘extremist’ are completely baseless and absurd, for this would equate to condemning the entire corpus of Islamic scholarly tradition as such.”

Ibis did not respond to an email asking for comment.