Manchester imam ‘backs execution of gays’

“A row has blown up over a claim a prominent Manchester Muslim has defended the execution of sexually-active gay people as ‘justified’. Arshad Misbahi, a junior Imam at the city’s Central Mosque is alleged to have confirmed that it is an acceptable punishment in Iraq and Iran. His comments are said to have been made to psychotherapist Dr John Casson who is researching the persecution of gays in Islamic states. But they have been condemned as ‘encouraging conflict between the area’s large gay and Muslim communities’.”

Manchester Evening News, 26 October 2006

Predictably, this “story” originates with Outrage! – who dedicate most of their efforts these days to encouraging conflict between the gay and Muslim communities. Outrage! issued a press release a week ago, based on alleged remarks made by Arshad Misbahi in a private conversation initiated by Casson. This was then taken up by Pink News and As Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission told BBC News: “Just one man talking to another becomes an issue, Muslims are being put under a magnifying glass. I think that this is part of demonising Muslims.”