British Islamic charity invites hardline Muslim ‘hate preacher‘ who said killing of gays and stoning of adulterers is part of Islam is to speak on its fundraising tour
Row: Hardline academic Yasir Qadhi (pictured) has been invited on an ‘inspiring‘ UK eight-city tour for Islamic Relief
A hardline US Muslim preacher allegedly recorded saying killing homosexuals and stoning adulterers is part of Islam will speak across Britain to raise money for a UK charity, it was revealed today.
Yasir Qadhi, who also reportedly said cutting off the hands of thieves was ‘very beneficial to society‘, has been invited on an ‘inspiring‘ eight-city tour for Islamic Relief.
Dr Qadhi has previously said Shia Muslims should be considered ‘filth‘ and ‘liars‘ and also said the Holocaust was a hoax before admitting this view was a ‘mistake‘.
And he said that women should stay at home to take care ‘of the small, little things of the house‘ and should dedicate themselves to ‘please your husband.‘
According to The Times the Charity Commission has asked Islamic Relief why it has invited the Saudi-educated US-born academic to tour for them – but Islamic Relief insists they have done all the proper background checks.
Islamic Relief, which receives funding from the Department for International Development and has a £100million budget, hopes Dr Qadhi‘s speaking events will raise money for their high profile East Africa Crisis Appeal.
The eight-date tour called 21st Century Muslim: A Balance Between Hope and Fear has been described as ‘inspiring‘ but makes no mention of the academic‘s controversial past.
His lectures and dinners will be held at venues in London, Glasgow, Leicester, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester for up to £20 per ticket.
Dr Qadhi has been branded a hate preacher by some critics.
But he says he has been threatened with death by ISIS because he is considered liberal and has condemned them. He has also rowed back on some of his more extreme views and seen by some British Muslims as a ‘reformed character‘, according to The Times.
Recordings of some of his controversial speeches remain online.
In one he says: ‘This is a part of our religion to stone the adulterer… and to kill… the homosexual.‘ He also said that the gay rights movement means society had ‘regressed‘ and said gay people should be able to ‘block‘ their urges.
On crime and punishment in another he recording says: ‘Cutting off the hands of the thieves. The one problem that will happen to this person, it will bring about a benefit to an entire nation. And we see statistics to prove it. Muslim countries that implement the hudud [Islamic punishments] are safer, less rape, less stealing.‘
One of his former students Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was nicknamed the ‘underwear bomber‘ after he tried and failed to blow up an international flight on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb in his pants.
Dr Qadhi had met him in Houston in 2008 but ‘only briefly interacted‘ with him and said Abdulmutallab, who was jailed for life without parole, had ignored the teaching of staff in Texas and gone to Yeman where he was radicalised.
Dr Qadhi says his life has been in danger since he condemned the Charlie Hebdo attacks and says comments on stoning, for example, only applied to the Islamic world, not the West.
He told ‘It is an undeniable fact that mainstream interpretations of some classical texts command a nation that is governed by the laws of Islam to implement certain punishments against moral crimes.
‘However, I have explicitly and on multiple occasions stated that Muslims living in the modern world need to rethink through our tradition and its heritage. Classical, historical interpretations of the Shariah are not necessarily binding in modernity.
‘I have nowhere, repeat, nowhere called for violence against any person or nation state or army. I have made continuous refutations against jihadist groups and critiqued their actions and methodology beyond count.‘
He added in an email to MailOnline: ‘I am one of the most prominent speakers and preachers of Islam in the Western world. Almost all of my lectures are publicly available, and are in the thousands. My reputation is well established, and of the aspects that people know about me is that I am attempting to carve out a safe space for Muslims in Western lands – a space that will allow them to practice their faith in their personal lives even as they remain loyal citizens abiding by the laws of the country they live in.
‘I have refuted al-Qaeda, ISIS, Awlaki and a host of other jihadist teachers and thought. I am on the death-list of ISIS. I have never in my life been a part of any of those movements, or even sympathized with them‘.
MailOnline has approached Dr Qadhi and Islamic Relief for comment.
Islamic Relief UK stand by their decision to invite him to the UK.
A spokesman said: ‘Dr Yasir Qadhi is a high-profile speaker with a large international following who has spoken out consistently against terrorism, extremism and anti-Semitism, and challenges Muslims to rethink old orthodoxies.
‘Islamic Relief has invited Dr Qadhi to the UK to help the Muslim community here prepare spiritually for Ramadan, and to raise funds to fight famine in East Africa, where over 16 million people are at risk of starvation and Islamic Relief has unrivalled access in parts of Somalia and Ethiopia in particular.
‘Like all our speakers, Dr Qadhi has been through a two-stage screening process that involved checking him against over 540 global watch lists of proscribed individuals and organisations to ensure no terror links, and then looking in detail at his views and track record in their full context through the lens of media coverage, YouTube videos and social media platforms.
‘Islamic Relief abhors terrorism in all its forms and believes that anti-Semitism is every bit as unacceptable as Islamophobia. We work to uphold the highest humanitarian standards of neutrality, impartiality and independence, assisting people of all faiths and none without discrimination by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.‘