Oxfam cancels event after accusations of speaker’s homophobia

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Socioeconomic justice group Oxfam International has had to cancel an event because Left Foot Forward offered Oxfam information that one of the organizers, Ibrahim Hewitt, was known for expressing homophobic viewpoints.

The event was due to take place in an East London mosque in Whitechapel.

Hewitt, who was scheduled to be a speaker at the event, had previously written a book for high school students in which he’d labeled homosexuality a “great sin,” and an “evil practice which could corrupt and pollute the whole society.”

He also insinuated that homosexuality should be treated like incest or pedophilia.

Oxfam’s media coordinator said, “We are against discrimination and what he has written is in contradiction to what we believe.”

Speaking to Gay Star News, Hewitt said that he was not homophobic. “I don’t advocate gays should be stoned or killed or adulterers should be flogged or killed,” he added.

He added, “I did explain I’m a Muslim. While I understand people who are gay, it doesn’t mean I approve of it. If someone was drinking alcohol, I can’t approve of that and I wouldn’t promote it. It’s the same thing.”

On January 15, Hewitt also posted tweets specifying that the comments were “very old” and “taken out of context.” In another tweet he said that he did not “advocate discrimination of any kind.”

He believes that Oxfam’s decision has not been thought through properly, saying that the “children of God will suffer because the event was cancelled.”

429Magazine

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