featuring some of the fiercest anti-gay speakers around, including speakers who say that gay people should be executed by being stoned to death.
Here are the details. This Sunday, an Ibis hotel in Earls Court, London, will be playing host to a daylong conference of leaders from the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IREA). But according to the folks at OutRage, IREA doesn't represent the breadth and depth of Islam. Instead, they have a lengthy track record of promoting fundamentalist beliefs that homosexuality should be punished with stoning and that LGBT people should be murdered.
"The Ibis Hotel group should not facilitate speakers who promote homophobic discrimination and violence. They should cancel this booking," said Peter Tatchell, a member of OutRage. "Most Muslims in Britain do not believe that lesbian and gay people should be killed. These extremists are out of touch with the majority of Muslim opinion. They are divisive and they damage community cohesion. Their homophobic fanaticism is being exploited by the far right to unfairly tarnish the wider Muslim community."
That's why OutRage and other LGBT activists in the UK are calling for Ibis to drop the conference, or else face a boycott from LGBT customers.
OutRage documented a lengthy list of religious leaders affiliated with IREA who have some deeply disturbing viewpoints. There's Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick (scheduled to speak this Sunday), who has said that "AIDS is caused by the 'filthy practices' of homosexuals," that "homosexuals are not natural," and that the Islamic position on homosexuality is death.
There's Abdur-Raheem Green (also scheduled to speak), who has said of homosexuality: "[It deserves] a slow and painful death by stoning. It is indicative of just how harmful this crime is to society."
And there's Hamza Tzortzis (again, someone scheduled to speak on Sunday), who justified his position that criminalizing homosexuality is OK by saying this: "There are societies past and present which accepted paedophilia and cannibalism as normal parts of human life and they would find Western society oppressive preventing them from carrying out these practices."
Sounds like quite the lineup for Sunday, right?
Other leaders with IREA have actually been banned from entering Britain because of their track record of hate speech. Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May banished two leaders with the group, for repeatedly saying that contemporary societies needed to adopt the death penalty for LGBT folks.
So here's the question: these religious leaders might have the freedom to believe such archaic and damaging beliefs. But does Ibis hotels have to give them a platform for spewing their hatred? That's what OutRage wants to find out.
"Lesbian and gay people - and straight people of conscience - should not use Ibis Hotels while they continue to host extremist anti-gay preachers. A boycott campaign might be necessary if Ibis does not change its policy," Tatchell concluded.
Meanwhile, if you want to pressure Ibis hotels and let them know where you stand on this issue, send their executives a message here.
petition text -
I am Deeply Saddened to learn that the Ibis Hotel in Earls Court will host an Anti Gay Hate Conference on Sunday 16th January 2010.
Can I mention that the headline speakers are associates of the hate preachers Dr Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips who are both banned from entering the United Kingdom by the Home Secretary Theresa May
How can the Ibis group do this to gay people?, does your chain not like them?
I urge the Ibis Group to immediately Cancel this Conference and Stop hosting Future Speakers who incite Homophobic Hatred and the Killing of Gay people
[Your name here]