As the annual Toronto Pride parade worked its way through the city’s LGBTQ community on Sunday afternoon, an Islamic religious scholar addressing a 9,000-strong crowd at the annual Journey of Faith Islamic conference said that, in countries governed by Islamic law, homosexuals caught in the act should be executed.
Bilal Philips, a Canadian who now lives in Qatar, told the Toronto Star that he was expelled from Germany in April for expressing that opinion, but that is what “Islamic law says.”
In a Thursday interview, Philips cheerfully advocated death as a punishment for males who “confess” to homosexual behaviour, or are seen performing homosexual acts by four reliable witnesses, in countries governed by Islamic law.
Lesbians should only get lashes, he said. In secular countries like Canada, he said, even gays should not be punished. But the word of the Qur’an must be followed in Islamic countries, he said, and the Qur’an says gays must be killed.
“In a country that has subscribed to secular rule — in Canada — that’s how it is. I accept that. But if you ask me what would the situation be within an Islamic state, or Islamic government, then it would not be permitted, and the punishment is applied, yes,” he said.
Philips has made similar statements in his writings and in videos. In the interview, he also confirmed that he believes homosexuality is “evil,” like pedophilia and bestiality, and that God gave gays AIDS to penalize them for their deviancy.
The conference drew criticism last year for inviting a televangelist from India who had expressed solidarity with Osama bin Laden and disparaged homosexuals and other groups. His speech was cancelled.
Another speaker at the conference — Abdur Raheem Green, a British convert to Islam — also advocates that gays should be killed.
Green has previously called for the enactment of Sharia Islamic law and called for death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers.
Green blasted the press for referring to him as a “homophobic hate-preacher.”
The conference was an annual convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre -– a weekend-long series of discussions on what it means to be a devout Muslim in the 21st-Century.