News | Cleric's visit cancelled following homophobic rant

The Islamic society has been forced to cancel a talk at the University by a Muslim cleric who has been labelled homophobic.

Mufti Ismail Menk, who was scheduled to give a talk at the University on November 11, described same sex acts as “filthy” and “wrong” and has been recorded saying, “With all due respect to the animals, [gay people] are worse than those animals.”

Menk was due to preach on the topic of being ‘young and responsible’. Tayyibun, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating the tour, cancelled his university engagements after several student unions expressed concerns about his opinions.

A Tayyibun spokesperson said: “it is our duty to promote peace, tolerance, equality and justice, acknowledging the presence of diverse faiths and inclinations.”

A spokesperson from the University told LS: “We will not tolerate speakers who might create an environment in which people will experience harassment, intimidation, verbal abuse or violence.”

The spokesperson added that Menk “wasn’t initially thought by the Islamic Society – the group who invited him to campus – to be controversial.” They added: “Once the video was brought to light and shown to the society, they immediately withdrew the event.”

Leeds’ Islamic society reiterated that the society is “against all forms of discrimination” and acknowledged that it would have been “particularly insensitive” to have hosted Menk. They added that Menk “has previously spoken at the University in 2011 and was well received.

Fiona Tomas

Photo: youtube

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