A London imam who supports the execution of gay people has justified the massacre at the offices of the French satire publication Charlie Hebdo.
In an article published by USA Today, Anjem Choudary – described as a radical Muslim cleric and lecturer in Sharia law – wrote that “Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression.”
He stated that Muslims’ “speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.”
He further argued that, “Within liberal democracies, freedom of expression has curtailments, such as laws against incitement and hatred.” (Ironically, Choudary has himself been accused of inciting hatred by calling for the stoning to death of gay people.)
In the article, the imam ultimately laid the blame for the attack at the hands of the French government for not censoring Charlie Hebdo and allowing it to publish anti-Islamic cartoons.
“So why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the sanctity of its citizens at risk?” he asked.
“It is time that the sanctity of a Prophet revered by up to one-quarter of the world’s population was protected,” he insisted.
In 2009, Choudary said in press conference: “If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don’t stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure. There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.”
Speaking with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday about the Paris shootings, Choudary reiterated his view that those who are found guilty of committing “the act of sodomy” should be killed.
It should be noted that many mainstream Islamic clerics and groups have condemned the attack on the French newspaper, which left 12 people dead.
The Islamic Society of Britain said in a statement that “the terrorist attack in Paris is sickening and utterly wrong.”
It added that the incident was “a stark reminder of what we can take for granted, of what is worth protecting and fighting for.”