The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) issues this statement to clarify its position on the baseless allegations made against Shaykh Hamza Sodagar by far-right media outlets.
AIM prides itself for being active in campaigning against extremism, sectarianism, intolerance and racism both locally and globally. We have been consistent in our efforts to spread justice, peace, and tolerance; and to promote social harmony as contained in our rich and abundant Islamic heritage. Since its inception, our organisation has been steadfast in promoting this message because these values are enshrined in the Islamic teachings that we uphold.
The unfortunate rise of right-wing extremism has resulted in a malicious campaign to misconstrue the positions of Islam and dehumanise Muslims.
We are saddened that the UK media is able to publish materials that clearly follow a right-wing extremist agenda of spreading hatred and Islamophobia.
Shaykh Hamza Sodagar is a reputable religious scholar who has studied the sciences of the religion and is considered an expert in theology, history and jurisprudence. He has a lengthy record in serving the Muslim community around the world.
In remarks made in 2010, as part of a series of lectures delivered on mercy, love and hatred in Islam through a commentary of a supplication from the Islamic tradition, Shaykh Hamza explained the position of Islam on homosexuality, and that it is not compatible with Islam. This is a clear and undeniable position that is upheld by Islam as found in Islamic scripture and tradition. In this regard, it must be understood, as was mentioned in the very same lecture series, that Islamic penal code cannot be administered outside the framework of law-enforcement and legal process within a legitimate government.
De-contextualised excerpts of this series, were used by right-wing media to suggest that Shaykh Hamza was calling for ‘the beheading and burning of homosexuals’. This is untrue and a mischievous and malicious accusation to make.
To suggest that Shaykh Hamza is calling for the beheading and burning of homosexuals is laughable and absurd.
According to our understanding, it is precisely this irresponsible behavior that incites hatred and fuels racism and discrimination; and to this we shall not remain silent. We believe such entities intentionally seek to fuel divisions, stifle alternate voices and defame personalities that seek to make a positive contribution to society.
5th October 2016
AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM)