Speaker at workshop organised by Global Aspirations says homosexuals would be executed in Islamic state
A speaker at a Students’ Union affiliated society workshop said that homosexuals would be executed in an ideal Islamic state, describing the practice of two men kissing as an “atrocity.”
1st year Middle Eastern studies student Colin Cortbus recorded a public meeting organised by Global Aspirations for Women at the Students’ Union last Wednesday 13th February and asked the chairperson of the meeting whether “in the Islamic society in which you strive for,” they would “feel comfortable, personally and morally, to kill a gay man.”
She responded, “Absolutely,” and added later that homosexuality was an “atrocity, because it goes against what God says.”
In the meeting the speaker was also asked whether in the Islamic state they were advocating they would feel confident to kill him if he “did something as completely innocent as kiss another man outside the Students’ Union.”
In response, the chair of the meeting said to the small group, “Yeah, absolutely,” adding, “But it’s the fact that you can’t just see it as it is. People have this issue that the punishment, penal code, everything is so completely inhumane, but who even says that these things are inhumane?”
When the debate moved onto the subject of the supposed negative effect of homosexuals on society, the chair declared that homosexuality “does not lead to social cohesion,” citing their inability to “pro-create” as evidence.
At this point, another attendee joined the debate, asking, “If they can’t have kids, why didn’t they die out ages ago?”
The chairperson’s position on stoning adulterers was then pressed. She reasoned: “Who’s to say that someone else might see that and think ‘well if he’s allowed to do it why can’t I do it’.”
When Mr Cortbus argued that stoning was not an Islamic practice, the chairperson said: “Even if you went to someone who was a Muslim, whether they like the idea of stoning an adulterer or not, they will still say to you that it is something that is in Islam.
“There aren’t Muslims who could say to you that it’s not part of Islam to stone an adulterer.”
The society lists its purpose on the Manchester Students’ Union website as “to highlight the universal aspirations of women and create discussions on campus as to what these are and what can be done about it.”
They further claim to “create an environment in which students can come together and discuss concerns.”
Though their page on the Students’ Union website makes no reference to Islamic beliefs, their Facebook page – which has 91 likes – describes them as: “A UoM society set up to discuss the aspirations of women, whether these can be achieved under the current system and showing Islam as an alternative.”
The ‘alternative’ refers to the Caliphate, a political Islamic state governed by a religious leader, in which Sharia Law is enforced. During the workshop they can be heard supporting this political ideology.
In December, Global Aspirations for Women invited Julie Breen, a British convert to Islam, to come and give a talk at the Students’ Union to around 20 people. During the talk, she proposed the Caliphate as the only system in which women could be liberated.
Ms Breen can be found being interviewed on a YouTube video linked to radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. In the video, she says she makes “no apology for capital punishment in an Islamic state.”
Khadijah Afzal, chair of Global Aspirations and speaking on behalf of the society, told The Mancunion, “Not once in the discussion was any of this advocated. It was a hypothetical discussion in which people were open to discuss their views, which or may not have necessarily been that of the society.
“The fact that you have pin pointed only the discussion on the punishment system in Islam shows that you are ignorant of Islam as a political system, and hence decided to play the media rhetoric of Islam equates to harsh punishments and lack of humanity.”
“People hold various views and opinions about a number of issues on campus, including fascists who are openly allowed to propagate their views under the guise of freedom of speech. What I ask of you is not to be intolerant towards debate especially when it goes against the grain of what you ardently hold on to.”
Khadijah Afzal refused to deny she was the speaker when asked by The Mancunion, but the Students’ Union could not confirm this.
A statement from Students’ Union Wellbeing Officer Cat Gray, read: “We are deeply concerned with the covert filming of a student event within the Union. We are also deeply concerned by the suggestion that comments of a homophobic nature have been made.
“The Union operates a safe space policy where students should not be subject to any form of intimidation or discrimination. We encourage students who wish to report incidents which have made them feel unsafe to contact any member of the Exec Team.”