Mufti Ismail Menk is Saudi cleric who currently lives in Zimbabwe and is embarking on a tour of UK university campuses including the University of Liverpool. The cleric is notable, however, for his anti-gay bigoted views, claiming that homosexuals are worse than animals – (source)
With all due respect to the animals, [gay people] are worse than those animals. Remember, we are saying, with all due respect to the animals, because to the animals it is an insult to them to even suggest this to them. Automatically the pigs and the dogs do not engage in this (homosexuality)
You can find more information about the event here.
Understandably, many on campus are uneasy with an anti-gay speaker being invited onto campus by the Liverpool University Islamic Society. Below is our official statement regarding the talk:
The University of Liverpool Humanists condemn in the strongest terms the decision by Liverpool Islamic Society to invite the Mufti Ismail Menk to speak at the Guild of Students on the 12th November 2013.
We consider the speaker’s anti-gay sentiments and use of dehumanising language towards homosexuals to be in complete opposition to our Humanist values of affirming the dignity and worth of every human being, and to the collective ethical conscience of those on campus. We hope that the committee and members of the Liverpool Islamic Society do not share the view of the Mufti that homosexuals are worse than “animals” and encourage them to join us in condemning such views.
However, we are committed to freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas, so will not be calling for Mufti Ismail Menk to be banned from our campus. It is our view that this event may provide a platform for a constructive public debate regarding Islam and homosexuality.
As we feel that these ideas should be intellectually opposed, we intend to be in attendance of the talk and will support any form of protest by other societies which intends to highlight the discriminatory views of the cleric.
-The University of Liverpool Humanists Committee
Feel free to contact the committee with any enquiries by emailing livunihumanists [at] gmail .com