Britain’s Charity Commission is asking the Islamic Aid group why it invited a hardline Islamic preacher on a fundraising tour of Britain.
Yasir Qadhi features in a tour of eight cities starting this month. He is accused of telling Muslim students that executing homosexuals and stoning adulteresses was part of their religion, and said cutting off the hands of thieves was “very beneficial to society”.
He has been invited by the charity, which receives funding from the Department for International Development, to help raise funds for its East Africa Crisis Appeal.
The Times reports that in one recording, he appears to say: “This is a part of our religion to stone the adulterer… and to kill… the homosexual.”
In another speech, he said the following about Islamic punishments: “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.”
He also said society had “regressed not progressed” because homosexual people are no longer looked down on with disgust, and religious people are not free to oppose them.
However, Dr. Qadhi says he now rejects some of his earlier statements, saying he has “grown out” of the Salafi fundamentalist movement in which he was raised.
Dr. Qadhi responded to the allegations by telling The Times: “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.”