Boris accused of backing festival of hate

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been accused of giving his support to an event which features a number of antisemitic and homophobic speakers.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been accused of giving his support to an event which features a number of antisemitic and homophobic speakers.

According to the website of the Global Peace and Unity festival (GPU), Mayor Boris Johnson has sent a “message of support” to the organisers of an event that has been condemned by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as promoting speakers with “bigoted, violent views”.

The event which takes place at the ExCel centre in East London today and tomorrow features a number of preachers who are on record as having made extremist comments.

These are:

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who has defended Pakistan laws that impose the death penalty for blasphemy;

Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman, who believes that adulterers should be stoned to death;

Iman Abdul Wahid Pedersen, who has also defended the stoning of adulterers;

Sheikh Said Rageah, who has used the bigoted term “kuffar” to describe non-Muslims and who has called for “blasphemers” to be killed;

Sheikh Muhammad Al Shareef, who has claimed that Jews control the media and that Muslims should keep away from them, and that homophobia is praiseworthy.

And yet despite this, the GPU website contains what appear to be glowing words of support from no less than Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Labour MP Stephen Timms and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Johnson is quoted on the GPU website as saying that the event “increases understanding and encourages dialogue throughout the Muslim community and beyond”.

“I am delighted to send a message of support to the organisers and attendees at the Global Peace & Unity Event,” he added.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said it was “appalling that the Mayor, City of London police and prominent public figures are endorsing an event that promotes at least seven speakers with bigoted, violent views”.

“It’s the equivalent of supporting an event with BNP and EDL hate speakers.”

Left Foot Forward has contacted the office of Boris Johnson to confirm that the words featured on the GPU website are indeed the Mayor’s but we are still waiting for a response

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