Anti-gay preacher booked to speak at London university

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A homophobic preacher has been confirmed to speak at a London university just days before it will host a weekend of LGBT events.

The University of Westminster’s Islamic Society has booked Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad, who has in the past written articles including one called “Standing up against Homosexuality”, to speak at an event called “Who is Muhammed”, reports Smoke Radio. 

Al Haddad sits on the board of the Islamic Shariah Council, and in “Standing up against Homosexuality”, he wrote on the “the scourge of homosexuality”, calling it a “criminal act”.

This is not the first time the scholar has been booked to speak at the university, but next week’s appeareance will fall just days before Westminster will host the annual Student Pride event.

A petition has been started, and already gathered several hundred signatures, calling on the University of Westminster Students Union to ban him from speaking at the university.

In a statement the University of Westminster said: “The University is committed to maintaining freedom of speech and a diversity of views as set out in the Education Act 1986.

“As a diverse community of local and international students of many faiths, respect and tolerance is our foremost concern and we will be monitoring the event carefully and any student concerns.”

As well as remarks about gay people, the sheikh has made comments about Jewish people, and is a strong supporter of female genital mutilation.