LONDON, March 20 (UPI) -- Gay Muslims have a religious obligation to control their desires as "a compulsive murderer, gambler or pedophile" does, a prominent British leader says.
Dr. Mohammad Naseem, chairman of the Birmingham Central Mosque, made the statement in a letter to the Huffington Post's British edition, the Daily Telegraph reported. He was responding to criticism of the mosque's demand that a question on gay Muslims be dropped from the live BBC debate show "Free Speech," which broadcast from the mosque on March 12.
The pre-recorded question was submitted by Asifa Lahore, the self-proclaimed "first and only gay Muslim drag queen" in Britain. The question made it on the air but the host Rick Edwards said it was being dropped and would not be answered.
The contentious question was: "When will it be right to be Muslim and gay?"
Naseem's response in his letter to the Huffington Post appeared to be never, saying that if Lahore wants to continue being a drag queen he is "free to leave Islam and follow any ideology that suits him."
"Human beings do have weaknesses and tendencies which are not socially acceptable and so they try to have a control over them and do not give in," he said. "A compulsive murderer, gambler, pedophile etc. could present the same logic and ask for accommodation by the society. Are we going to accept on the basis of freedom of action?"
Naseem and the BBC dispute the circumstances of the show. The British broadcaster says that in discussions with the mosque it was told no topics were off limits, while Naseem said the mosque was not informed there would be questions about homosexuality.