By David Churchill | 24 November 2014
London Evening Standard
A preacher has been banned from a London university after likening being gay to having a “disease”.
Imran ibn Mansur, 24, also known as the self-styled Dawah Man who helps people be spiritual “superheroes”, was today banned from appearing at the University of East London.
He has blamed “filthy Western culture” for impulses which should be “suppressed” and claimed that homosexuality comes “under the category of ‘obscene, filthy, shameless’.”
The university also banned this week’s event, advertised on Facebook by its Islamic Society, over fears — denied by organisers — that gender segregation could be enforced, after “brothers” and “sisters” were given separate contact points for tickets. It comes six months after another Islamic Society event was banned after being advertised as a “segregated event”.
Former rapper Mr Mansur, who has visited other campuses and given Muslim students a university “survival guide”, made the comments in apparently homemade online videos. Protest groups have welcomed the ban.
In one video posted in July last year Mr Mansur preaches to a “brother” seeking advice on his gay desires. The preacher blasts “filthy Western culture” and tells him to marry a woman to “protect” himself.
He adds: “It’s not something you were born with, the same way a person who’s sick, we’re all born healthy but then you get an illness so you take the treatment to get rid of not only the symptoms, but the disease.”
He adds: “Homosexuality, sodomy, is an act that in the sharia… comes under the category of ‘obscene, filthy, shameless’ acts.”
In another video posted a month later he tells a young Asian man in the street to remove his “gay” earring.
He says: “You like women not men? Take the earring off then bro. Know that an earring is something that a woman wears… don’t do that, it’s gay.” The man then takes it out.
Mr Mansur has also been advertised a speaker at events where “mainstream” preachers such as those from the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) were due to appear.
Leaders of the IERA charity spoke this year of an “attitude towards engagement with the homosexual community”. It told the Standard that Mr Mansur is not associated with them in any way and that their speakers scheduled with Mr Mansur were not speaking at an IERA event.
The Charity Commission is currently investigating the IERA over a number of “regulatory issues” over its policies for organising events and inviting external speakers. The IERA says that it is cooperating with the probe.
A spokesman for the university said: “We cannot allow enforced segregation at lectures, nor can we offer a public platform to speakers known to publicise and disseminate homophobic views. These go against our equality policies and more importantly UEL’s core values.”
Haras Rafiq, head of outreach at think tank the Quilliam Foundation, said: “It’s absolutely the right decision from the university and as a society we shouldn’t expect anyone treating anybody as second class citizens with gender segregation.”
Rupert Sutton, director of campus watchdog Student Rights, said: “It is good to see that UEL has taken this into consideration and stepped in to prevent Mr Mansur from appearing.
“The withdrawal of this invite shows a commendable commitment…that other institutions could learn from.”
Mr Mansur today said he was exercising his right to freedom of speech and did so “sensibly and with tolerance”.
He told the Standard: “I was just merely voicing a belief that millions of people across the world, from the majority of the major religions — Islam, Christianity, Judaism — uphold.
“Muslims don’t in any way shape or form have a problem with homosexuals, there’s nothing within our religion that specifically tells us that we should be mean to homosexuals, that we shouldn’t allow them to enter into our cities, or come and pray with us, in fact a man who has homosexual inclinations can lead Muslims in prayer and be an imam in a mosque.”
It was acting upon the inclinations which Islam condemned, he said. UEL Islamic Society declined to comment.
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