Pride in London condemns Islamophobia in ‘Allah is gay’ row

Pride in London has responded to accusations of Islamophobia after ‘Allah is gay’ signs allegedly appeared in the London march.

Secularist group the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) caused controversy with their placards at the July 8 event.

Now Pride bosses have responded to furious Muslim leaders who accused them of igniting hate by allowing the group.

CEMB Ex-Muslims at Pride

The former Muslims marched with placards bearing the words “Allah is gay” and “F*** Islam”, according to photos from the day.

Other signs read “Islamophobia is an oxymoron” and “Throw ISIS off the roof”.

Pride in London condemns Islamophobia in ‘Allah is gay’ row

Religous leaders at the East London Mosque condemned Pride organisers – insisting they have a good record on LGBT rights in London.

Responding to the outrage, Pride in London said they will “will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind”, adding: “We will not tolerate Islamophobia.”

Mosque spokesperson Salman Farsi told the Evening Standard: “We’ve raised a complaint with the co-chairs of the event that the group was inciting hatred against Muslims, and in particular [in relation] to our good name, based on absolutely groundless reasons.

“For us to see such a mainstream event that is supposed to celebrate tolerance and love used as a hate platform was really quite shocking.

“One of the signs said ‘Islamophobia is an oxymoron’.

“Our religion doesn’t promote hatred or homophobia.

“Yes, there might be theological topics dealing with homosexuality in Islam, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting hatred and homophobia,” said Mr Farsi.

In a full statement to the Evening Standard, Pride in London responded: “If anyone taking part in our parade makes someone feel ostracised, discriminated against or humiliated, then they are undermining and breaking the very principles on which we exist.

“Our code of conduct is very clear on this matter.

“All volunteers, staff and parade groups agree that Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind.

“While our parade has always been a home to protest, which often means conflicting points of view, Pride must always be a movement of acceptance, diversity and unity.

“We will not tolerate Islamophobia.”

They stopped short of offering an apology to the East London Mosque, which they had requested.

For its part, the CEMB has issued a full response rejecting outright any suggestion of Islamaphobia, and calling out the East London Mosque for its own alleged links to homophobic hate preachers.

“There is ample evidence that they are inciting violence against apostates and LGBT. Their complaint is an attempt to censor and silence us,” the group’s co-founder Maryam Namazie told PinkNews today.

“The fact that they feel able to do so, and that their complaint is taken seriously by Pride speaks volumes about the climate we live in where bullies and homophobes are rewarded and victims blamed.”

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The ex-Muslim group – made up of “non-believers, atheists, and ex-Muslims” – was one one of the official parade groups for this year’s Pride march.

The event was also attended by openly LGBT Muslim groups, as it has been in previous years.

CEMB at Pride

Maryam Namazie, a spokesperson for the group, insisted they were not being Islamophobic, but highlighting the persecution of LGBT people in Muslim majority countries.

“At Pride, we were highlighting the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men – 14 if we include Daesh-held territories,” she told the Standard.

Ms Namazie also insisted that the signs did not say “F*** Islam” but “F*** Islamic homophobia”.

“In my view Islam, like all religions, is homophobic.

“Why is it not possible to say this without fear of reprisal or accusations of Islamophobia?

“Pride is full of ‘God is gay’ and ‘Jesus had two fathers’ placards as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet hold a sign saying ‘Allah is gay’ – as we did – and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing offence.”