A gay humanist group has said the Home Secretary was wrong to ban a Dutch MP who is critical of Islam. Jaqui Smith said that Geert Wilders, a leading rightwing politician and a fierce critic of Muslims , has been denied permission to enter Britain on the grounds that his presence would damage community relations and threaten public order.
The Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) had declared its opposition to the ban.
"We maintain that in a free society anyone should have the right to criticise religion without being banned, dubbed racist or, even worse, threatened with death as the humanist author Saman Rushdie was over his book The Satanic Verses," said PTT secretary George Broadhead.
"There can be no doubt from reading its holy books, the Qur'an and the Hadith, that Islam is a homophobic religion, which at worst has lead to the barbaric torture and murder of LGBT people in Islamic theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
"But it is also deeply mysoginist and hostile to apostates and unbelievers like humanists.
"As the website the Skeptic's Annotated Qur'an indicates, virtually every page is a manifesto for intolerance. It is chock-full of the dire punishments in store for those who don't adhere to its beliefs.
"Those politicians who bend over backwards to portray Islam as a religion or tolerance and peace are either abysmally ignorant or deliberately ignoring the facts.
"Moreover, Jacqui Smith's decision to ban Mr Wilders is in blatant contrast to her decision to allow Ibrahim Mousawi, chief spokesman of the Lebanese group Hizbollah - a militant Islamacist if ever there was one - to enter Britain last May - a clear example of double standards."(...more)