Boris Johnson: Cage should be condemning ISIS for murdering gay people

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Boris Johnson says campaign group Cage should be condemning violent acts by ISIS, such as the killing of gay men, rather than pointing the finger at MI5 for the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi.

Last week Emwazi was identified as the masked militant known as ‘Jihadi John’, who has been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages.

Emwazi studied computing at the University of Westminster in 2009.

The university postponed a planned visit last Thursday by Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad Haitham, who has branded homosexuality “a scourge”, in response to the revelations involving Emwazi.

The research director of the advocacy group Cage, Asim Qureshi, has been criticised in recent days for saying that Emwazi’s detention and interrogation by the security services would have made him liable to radicalisation.

Mr Qureshi confirmed at a press conference that Emwazi had approached Cage after he was sent back from Tanzania in 2009. He described him as “a beautiful young man”.

London Mayor Boris Johnson today clashed with Mr Qureshi in a radio interview on LBC.

The senior Tory told Mr Qureshi, who had phoned into the Mayor’s programme: “I really, really think the focus of your indignation and your outrage should be on people who go out to join groups that throw gays off cliffs, that behead people who don’t subscribe to their version of Islam, that glorify in the execution of innocent journalists and aid workers.

“They should be the object of your wrath not the security services who are trying to keep us safe, Asim.”

In reply to the Mayor’s remarks, Mr Qureshi said: “What we want is to understand whether or not the security agencies’ actions led to him feeling like he’s not a part of British society.”

Mr Quresh claimed his comments about Emwazi had been “unfairly represented”.

He said: “At the end of the day what this man has done is absolutely horrific. There is no way anyone can justify that. As an organisation we have made a commitment against arbitrary detention, extra judicial killings and torture, regardless of the perpetrator.”

In recent months, ISIS has released video showing its militants murder men who it claims were gay.