Home / Comment / Reply from Dr. Haitham Al-Haddad to allegations made in the Daily Mail & Sunday Times newspaper

Reply from Dr. Haitham Al-Haddad to allegations made in the Daily Mail & Sunday Times newspaper

I was deeply saddened on Sunday morning to see the article in your newspaper maligning me and attributing beliefs to myself which I have for many years argued against. I would like to give The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail the benefit of the doubt and suggest that the articles are merely a product of lazy, armchair journalism rather than working towards a malicious agenda, I only wish you would have afforded me the same courtesy. However unfortunate, it does feel to me as though I am being deliberately demonised and my public image distorted by various right-wing newspapers, blogs and think tanks to fit the profile of some sort of ‘hate preacher’.

I find the idea of so-called ‘anti-extremism ASBOs’, as featured in the Taskforce on Tackling Radicalisation report, the very antithesis of liberal democratic values. It is almost as if we are moving towards an Orwellian dystopia where the state wishes to control not only what we say but also what we think, all the while claiming to champion democracy and freedom.

I would like to take the opportunity here to correct some of the lies and fabrications written about me in The Sunday Times and Daily Mail.

1. Contrary to the shameful accusation by your newspapers, I have never praised Osama bin Laden (Allah have mercy on him), let alone his views about war or Jihad. In fact I, like other mainstream Islamic scholars around the world, have refuted those views attributed to him.

2. I have never claimed Osama bin Laden was in paradise, as claimed by your newspapers. What I have said on this matter is that according to mainstream Islamic opinion, we cannot say whether an individual is in paradise or hell, only that if someone dies in a state of Islam that s/he will eventually be admitted to paradise, even if they are subjected to punishment in hell for a period of time. This is consistent with Islamic teachings on resurrection and redemption. There is a world of difference between iterating the doctrine of a quarter of the world’s population, and “praising bin Laden” for what is attributed to him. Incidentally, the phrase, “Allah have mercy on him/her/them” is a ubiquitous suffix added upon the mention of ANY deceased Muslim however righteous or wicked—an inalienable right according to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

I would add that there are interesting parallels to be drawn here between the demonisation of Islamic scholars and the stigma experienced by Catholic clergy during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Then as now, scholars and clergy are drawn into political battles with little regard for the responsibility to uphold and honour the teachings of our respective creeds whatever the political context. This does not render us ‘preachers of hate’ or apologists for terrorism.

3. Stating, insidiously, that I undertook the majority of my Islamic scholarship in Saudi Arabia is a desperate attempt to vilify and ostracise me as though I were someone unfamiliar with the socio-cultural milieu of Britain. In fact, I studied for my PhD at SOAS, a world-renowned institution for Middle Eastern studies. I have benefited from many teachers who come from varying backgrounds and to suggest otherwise is a deliberately malevolent and false representation.

4. I have not been banned from speaking at the London School of Economics. Were the authors of the articles interested in the facts, and not conjecture, they would have learnt that one of my talks was postponed pending an investigation into accusations made against me by well-known Islamophobes (ironically, not too dissimilar an attempt at defamation as The Sunday Times and Daily Mail saw fit to publish). The investigation was conducted and I was cleared of all false accusations shortly thereafter. I have since then spoken twice at the LSE.

5. The claim that I have been “accused of preaching hatred of Jews and justifying terrorism against civilians” is utter defamation. I have never espoused such reprehensible views. The use of quotation marks around the phrase, “collateral damage,” as though to infer they were expressed by myself, is again false representation.

As for the accusation of anti-Semitism or being anti-Jewish, the claims are abhorrent and tactically used to vilify those, like me, who campaign for Palestinians’ human rights. There are many people—including Jews—who share these values, would The Sunday Times and Daily Mail also accuse them of anti-Semitism or of being anti-Jewish?

6. As for my stating the Islamic position on homosexuality—which is shared by millions of other people of all faiths in Britain—it makes me feel ashamed that The Sunday Times and Daily Mail should spin legitimately held religious views to paint me as some kind of hate preacher. There are many who have objected in the recent past to the Government’s rush to legislate on same sex marriages, are all these ‘hate preachers’ too; the Members of Parliament, the Catholic Church and the Tory party faithful? The claim is as specious as it is ridiculous.

The double standards of the Daily Mail in this regard is particularly abhorrent. The paper champions Christians for their staunch defence of religious beliefs and values while at the same time demonising Muslims who do much the same.

There is a genuinely disturbing trend in the conflation by many Islamophobic commentators of socially conservative values with issues of national security and extremism in order to demonise Muslim scholars and speakers. It is a virtue much lauded in liberal democracies that citizens are free to hold the views they choose, within the law, whether such views cohere with majority or minority opinion. The shameless bulldozing of liberal democratic values to force conformity on the citizenry is a betrayal of the principles on which democracy rests. While Muslim scholars face the brunt of the challenge, the danger inherent in this approach is one that should concern us all.

7. I have repeatedly set the record straight on a number of issues which have frequently surfaced in the run-of-the-mill character assassination articles I have had the misfortune to see published in recent years. It is most unfortunate that the newspapers turned a blind eye to this, instead contacting me “for comment” only hours before publishing the articles. On this most recent contribution, I would add that Usama Hasan’s ‘scholarly’ credentials are well known to British Muslims and the claim that he has sought to “reason” with me is resolutely false; a symptom of the worst sort of megalomania.

8. As for being against what Usama Hasan revealingly deems to be “western values” (as though no other culture or civilisation shares them), such as “gender-equality, democracy and freedoms of speech, expression and religion,” this is patently false. I was one of the very first orthodox Islamic scholars in Britain to encourage Muslims to participate in elections by voting. As for Islamic values vis-à-vis gender-equality, they are based on fairness and justice, which means consideration must be given to different genders based on their differing characteristics and needs.  Furthermore, freedom of thought, religion and expression has its own glorious history and framework in Islam within certain boundaries, as is the case with many civilisations.

The broader issue of concern here are the efforts to bolster those whose championing of “western values” comes at the price of stridently undermining the rights of others to legitimately demur and dissent from their viewpoint. This is ignoring the ambiguity and fluctuation of “western values” in the first place. The irony of denying my rights to “freedom of speech, expression and religion” through the use of an “anti-extremism ASBO” on the false pretext that I do not adhere to such values, is not lost on me.

9. It could be argued that these accusations have been carefully selected to evoke antipathy towards my person from normally tolerant, liberal citizens. Why else craft an article designed to offend Jews, homosexuals and women?

I would go further and suggest the article is intended to evoke an antipathy for orthodox religious values and of Muslims in general. This is because I have a reputation for sticking only to those beliefs and practises that enjoy a general consensus among classical Islamic scholars and schools of thought in my public and private discourse. Contrary to the impression given by The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Usama Hasan, the prevailing consensus among Islamic scholars is not averse to democratic participation, women’s rights or respect for religious pluralism.

It seems that the purpose of this article is to soften people up to the idea that Britain needs to curtail “lawful free speech.” Freedom of speech, expression and religious belief is a value that Britain has traditionally upheld. Its termination through agenda-driven government officials and a so-called taskforce, along with an apparently co-operative “free”-press is something everyone should be concerned with.


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About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.


  1. I fully support the Sheikh a respected scholar of Islam.

  2. He’s simply homopboic. Disagreeing with gay marriage is freedom of speech. Saying these people are “evil” or a menace to society is hatred. Imagine if the same was said about muslim people? Tolerance works both ways.

  3. Samy Merchant

    CALLING ALL Anecrophiles, Zoophiles, Biastophiles, Fecophiles, Hybristophiles and Asphyxiophiles:

    You can get your “ubiquitous suffix”-May Allah have Mercy on him/her/them-added to your name after your death, “HOWEVER wicked” you are! The only condition is you must die as a Muslim.

    It’s your “…inalienable right according to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)”

    And you wonder why people hate Islam in the West!

    • So, we should not pray for the people who suffer from these paraphilias that their faults be forgiven?

      “And you wonder why people hate Islam in the West!”

      Speaking for myself I know exactly why people hate Islam, it’s because they’ve committed these massive atrocities against Muslims and now with globalization they’re afraid of reprisals.

  4. Samy Merchant

    CALLING ALL Anecrophiles, Zoophiles, Biastophiles, Fecophiles, Hybristophiles and Asphyxiophiles readers of Islam21c.com

    You can get your “ubiquitous suffix”-May Allah have Mercy on him/her/them-added to your name after your death, “HOWEVER wicked” you are! The only condition is you must die as a Muslim.

    It’s your “an inalienable right according to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)”

    Now that’s what I call a DEAL!

    And you wonder why people hate Islam in the West!

  5. Bismillahi was salathu was salaamu ala rasoolilla.

    I notice there is a lively debate, first of hot headed initial responses, and then becoming more mature and deeply thoughtful responses from both points of view. This is good. I would like to mention the Quruanic edict relating to dealing with foolish responses [25:63]

    IMHO , the main purpose of comment on this page, is the need to support the sheik against what is clearly a dangerous trend where “free speech” is stifled in the name of “democracy”. “Animal Farm” tactics come to mind.

    Sheik keep up the good work. There seems to be a growing body of support for you. Before these articles I had not heard of your work, now I shall follow your work carefully.

    May Allah reward you and your family in this world and the hereafter. May Allah protect you as He is our Waqil.

  6. Asif = Forgiveness

    Where in the Quran does it state being gay is ok? Please show me. Forget Sheikhs and Fatwas and everything else. Just Quran, show me please. I am interested to learn and be educated.



    • but even as/if quran doesn’t state that “…being is ok…” that doesn’t matter as the uk is a non-religious country. therefore, whatever any of the religions of the world say that’s is irrelevant. additionally, muslims makes only 4.4%, by law they are allowed to practice their religion but only in accordance with the uk law as religion is not above secular law. plus 4.4% of the population can’t make laws for the remaining 93.6% of people.

  7. You are such a fools, this man is a ********* and a ********. People like he, and other fundamentalists must be forbidden te speak in public, these guys are a shame to the society they would like to take away all the possibilitys for woman to develop them selves, half of the population is woman how could they it is a damed shame!!! These people must be shamed and they should crow under a rock were they belong.

    • Dear Sir, how does one crow under a rock? Please elaborate I am most intrigued.

    • Mr donald

      Please explain yourself because the rule that he is applying specially in the case of women which you have mentioned is islams basic principles for free, respected women who are not forced into turning into sex objects like the media wants them to become. I like dealing with facts and here we go: the fasting growing religion in europe, america and the whole world is islam and in UK and Europe its mostly women so please explain why most women are converting into this religion? Please open your mind and heart before its too late because this is trully ignorance from your side!!

      • Who told you that Islam is the fastest growing religion ? It is only growing amonsgt yourselves because a Moslem man is entitled to four wives and can divorce them and still have more as he chooses . If all of the wives give birth each to six children it means one man can have up to twenty four children who are Moslems . Does that make Islam the fastest growing religion ?
        Again when people are brutalised when they stop being Moslems or change to other religions , what do you aim to achieve if not to keep people in bondage of your religion . Simple mathematics , if you go to any supermarket in London and count people who are in the shop , what is the percentage of Muslims to others . How many women with hair covered and how many not covered ? Please stop this propaganda of fastest growing religion .
        You can only say that Islam is not as tolerant as other faiths and it is only in Christian countries that Moslems are free especially their women . They are free in other peoples countries but other people are never free in their country . But the more they continue in this their attitude , in future people’s eyes will open and all human beings will become violent to each other

    • This guy understands nothing. How dare he insult a high end sheikh!

  8. Immigrant:

    If your think this article uses a high level of English I feel you are mistaken. Its very clumsily written The sentence ” Then as now, scholars and clergy are drawn into political battles with little regard for the responsibility to uphold and honour the teachings of our respective creeds whatever the political context. ” would suggest that the scholars and clergy are not following their responsibility to uphold the teachings.

    I think what he means to say is “Then as now, scholars and clergy are drawn into political battles with little regard by the authorities for the those scholars and clergies responsibilities to uphold and honour the teachings of their respective creeds, whatever the political context. (Context of what exactly? )

    I find this to be rather ironic.

    6. As for my stating the Islamic position on homosexuality—which is shared by millions of other people of all faiths in Britain—it makes me feel ashamed that The Sunday Times and Daily Mail should spin legitimately held religious views to paint me as some kind of hate preacher. There are many who have objected in the recent past to the Government’s rush to legislate on same sex marriages, are all these ‘hate preachers’ too; the Members of Parliament, the Catholic Church and the Tory party faithful? The claim is as specious as it is ridiculous.

    He is not keen to say exactly what his position on Homosexuality is. Yet presumably those millions who share his position are not readers of the Guardian or members of Hope not Hate but… wait for it…. largely readers of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and members of Christian Voice and the BNP. I would lay a pound to a penny that the people he is attempting to claim common cause with can stand him far less than they can Homosexuals.

    I am quite happy with this country thank you very much. Live and let live is my motto. The UK is run by the British government according to British law and not God as several people now seem to be finding out.

    • I was being sarcastic about the English being too good of Daily Mail readership!
      Secondly: I understand that the UK is run by the government, but it still belongs to God, just like Israel being run by Israelis but belongs to someone else or Northern Ireland or Australia or other places around the world I could mention.

  9. Salam All

    Two points:
    Haitham al- hadads article used too much of high level English for those Daily Mail lot.

    This country doesn’t belong to John or me but is part of Gods green earth and if John doesnt like it he needs to remove himself from Gods green. earth

  10. Also, it seems that we are not allowed to disagree with gay marriage. People are asked for their views, such as the public consultation on the matter. But they can apparently only agree or be neutral.

    If one disagrees, maybe the only acceptable thing is to disagree without elaborating. The second one explains why they disagree, it is considered hateful or homophobic. Then people like John want them to leave the country simply for explaining their stance. Not quite free speech then.

    • No, you can disagree; then I will disagree with your disagreement; then you will disagree with my disagreement with your disagreement; then I will disagree with your disagreement of my disagreement with your disagreement. Then perhaps we’ll agree to disagree and have drink instead (non-alcoholic mind;)

    • Siraj

      I think you need to rad what U have actually said.

      I have said that he can hold whatever views he wants. He can be against same sex marriage if he wants. However when he is talking in terms like “scourge of homosexuality” then I want him out of the country. That is my view.

      He can have his views.

      I can have my views.

      That is how it works.


      • That first line should read

        “I think you need to read what I have actually said.”

      • He can only have his views and you agree to disagree, so long as he is given that right. Somewhat ridiculous that there is talk of banning him speaking, which is the whole reason this conversation is taking place.

  11. John / Asif,

    The shaykh praising someone for sticking with their stance despite various pressures is not the same as calling for criminalising homosexuality.

    I see nothing hateful in those words you have quoted, they are simply expressing his views. They do not incite hatred, and yes they are not gay friendly or gay neutral, but that is the entire point in one being able to have one’s own views!

    Asif – Ibn Taymiyyah, Allah have mercy on him, left no stone unturned when arguing his points. However this is very much different as there is no big debate on the matter, scholars throughout time have agreed on Islam’s views on homosexuality. If there is suddenly one scholar, or a handful, claiming a new view, then that is not enough to warrant a study and debate into it, as there is such an overwhelming accepted view. Allah does not allow His ummah to agree on falsehood.

    As for needing to know why Allah made you how you are, everybody faces different things in life. Good and bad. Losing kids, accidents, disabilities, natural disasters, are obvious examples of the bad. We can only try our best to stick to the true path and aim for success in the Hereafter rather than wondering why Allah tests us in whichever ways He chooses.

    • Well, Muslims who are homosexual can hardly see your way of understanding Islam as addressing their context. I have met many like you and the fact I still believe and hold on to being Muslim, believe in the oneness of Allah (and the profundity of what that means) is in spite of cardboard cut out views like yours. You may expect to seek ajar for upholding (what you believe is) the truth, but not for being a factor in someone turning away, self-harming or more. I seek refuge in Allah from a blindness of sight.

  12. Somebody really needs to [*sensored*] that Osama Hassan alongside his nifaaq!!

  13. Homosexuality is not the issue. I have listened to what brother Sherman Jackson has to say and I think he makes a valiant attempt to explain his (and a large number of Muslims’) position re: homosexuality. I disagree with him of course, but I cannot deny that I appreciate his demeanour – he is neither rude nor hysterical about the issue. I hope that he (and whom his views represent) can concede only that those who oppose his arguments raise difficult questions. I think to expect people who differ profoundly from one another to acquiesce to counter arguments is not just expecting too much, but borne from an arrogance and an impoverished imagination, lacking in humility to grant only that one’s views (and after all, one’s views are invariably embedded in what one understands as the views of ‘Islam’) are composite of one’s age, experience and his/her (always limited) reading. Yes, mine too. But, the difference is, I am open to being wrong: are you? If you allow me to be a little presumptuous, I would say you are not, because you believe to be following a pristine Islam. So you are loath to admit any possibility of change in your position, even though you may have begun your journey to Islam differently. You may have started off believing that one’s prayers were not accepted if one did not wear their lower garments (trousers etc.) above the ankle; believing that the Prophet (saw) was living even after his death; believing in the Quran as the creation of Allah; accepting that is was ok to swear by the Prophet (saw); regarding participation in democracy as challenging Allah’s sovereignty; following an Aristotelian view of Allah (inherited and evolved by the school of Ilm al-Kalam) i.e. He has no body, no substance, no incidental attributes; or a belief in wahdatul-wajud. You may have held any number of such views that you do not hold today. It cannot simply be a case of moving from error to the Truth, for the earlier ‘you’ would also have had a conviction in the verity of what today you see as false views. This does not mean that every view is correct, or that because at any given time one may hold something untrue means that one cannot believe in what he/she believes. All it means is: have humility and do not treat those who differ from you as cretins; be true to the Arabic phrase – Allah hu Alam and Allah hu Alim.

    To put it plainly: I do not expect you to change your views, especially in this type of forum. I assert only that homosexuality (and developments elsewhere: hermeneutics, feminism, economics; evolutionary theory; issues of (popular) culture and dents in multicultural politics) pose challenging questions, which, if you think a few articles can address, is not paying them the due-respect required. Gay Muslims need more than an article that talks about Prophet Lut (as), or notions of fitrah. Those struggling with their faith need more than a short explanation of why Allah tests them. The scholars of the past, like Ibn Taymiyah (ra) would write books, take on the challenge, and though he would not sympathise with me (I imagine), he would certainly leave no stone unturned to address the issues confronting Muslim believers, the sinful and the judgemental. Are practicing Muslims conducting any fieldwork to discover what hell people go through when they battle their sexuality? What about domestic abuse and rape within marriage for women? To say that I do not have all the answers is not acknowledging a weakness; it is an honesty that earns you your interlocutor’s respect.

    Finally, homosexuality is not the issue, not for this article. What is, is its consistency, its coherency and its duplicity: pointing to values and ideals which in another context the Sheikh would be severely critical of (see comments by Naveed, Abu Yusuf etc). I end as I started this interaction all those days ago: the response is not as conceptually robust as it needed to be in order to be consistent with views the Sheikh holds (as expressed in his other writings) and thus NOT appear forked-tongued.

    • I’m glad that your contention with the article has at least matured into a somewhat coherent (dare I say, specious) form since your initial outbursts at imaginary typo’s. At least we can now point out that the problem is not with the author being fork-tongued but with an irreconcilable conflict in your own mind, incapable of fathoming two things: (i) there’s a difference between advocating a concept and pointing out the hypocrisy of one who claims to advocate it; and (ii) concepts like ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ are not childish tick-boxes absolutely alien to orthodox Islam and Muslims but have a subtlety to them that is apparently invisible to some. Before you rush to respond from another angle, just stop for a second and think about the following. If YOU presume that the author from his other articles espouses views in contrast to those in this article, then please be prepared to entertain the possibility that the deficiency could be in your own analysis of his views. Why on earth would he give the SAME audience two conflicting versions of his beliefs!

      • Your distinction is a correct one, only, I don’t see the word hypocrisy or other cognate terms in the article (and I have read it again). It is hardly surprising then that the article can be read as appealing to values, institutions and practices that the Sheikh is critical of. What is more, he does say ‘our liberal democratic values’. It isn’t I who am misreading, nor simply that the ambiguities in the text lends itself to my interpretation (and that of at least a few others, re: some of the comments above). The article is poorly written. So I say again (no different angle), the response is not as conceptually robust as it needed to be in order to be consistent with views the Sheikh holds (as expressed in his other writings) and thus not APPEAR forked-tongued.

        I’m tired of this now, and whatever you think, carry on thinking. I do commend the website one thing, it has faithfully uploaded all the comments even those critical of it, so perhaps in that lies some hope; if we take nothing else from it, perhaps we could take that. I was taught that one ought to be gracious even to those who do not agree with you, so in the end, I defer to the best of speech: For you is your faith and for me is my faith… with a sad heart and a sad nod at the irony latent in citing surat al-Kafirun, Assalam aleikum wa rehmatullah.

        • [Note from Editor]

          [re “our liberal and democratic values”]
          It is true that the above wording appeared in the very first version of the article however it was immediately changed as it was an overlooked addition by one of the editors of the site. It was supposed to mean ‘our country’s values’ or words to that effect.

        • You’ve hit the nail on the head there. If the author is guilty of anything then it’s of not spelling certain things out clear enough for those unable to understand the high level of language used. Others have made the complaint that the language was too complex in parts and I agree it should contain some simplified, bite-sized sentences that would contain explicit words like ‘hypocrisy’ for those for whom words like ‘irony’ or ‘specious’ are apparently too cryptic.

  14. An excellent response from Sheikh. After attending his some sessions in past I strongly believe that his views are genuine, follow true teachings of Islam and are helpful living in a multi culture society. The sickening articles from Daily Mail and the Sunday Times are usual propaganda of ill minded media which only interested generating money and filling its pocket with cash.
    May Allah guide us all and keep us and Sheikh safe from verily and evil minded people

    • Only in the west could scum like s.h.a.l. be given the freedom to spout his hatred,you eulogies sharia law yet remain in the UK,if you despise our culture so much,go live in an Islamic state,of course you won’t because if you did and you criticized the government you would be executed,hypocrite and coward,I hope I see the day when bigots like s.h.a.l. are not protected by the state and are expelled from Britain

      • Wow, I wonder if you believe your own bullsh*t… UK is only NOW a place where you have SOME (ceremonial) freedom to criticise government (as long as they let you), because it has adopted many aspects of sharia without telling the knuckle dragging buffoons like you. States that implemented sharia had FAR more freedoms to criticise the government 1400 years ago, it’s so pathetic that you think it is something new and special, just because you never experienced it and it’s something new for europeans, who only yesterday came out of their tree houses and mud huts. The reason why all the puppet UK/USA-run dictatorships are sh*t is not that difficult to understand, you moron – it’s because they’re puppet UK/USA run dictatorships you twit.

        • Just which aspects of sharia has the UK adopted without telling us? Just which states that implemented sharia had FAR more freedoms to criticise the government 1400 years ago?

          “you think it is something new and special, just because you never experienced it and it’s something new for europeans, who only yesterday came out of their tree houses and mud huts.”

          Aside from the fact that you’ve used the wrong racist stereotype – Europeans stereotypically came out of their henges and thatched cottages – quite a few Europeans in Spain and eastern Europe had long experience of muslim rule and sharia. They spent several hundred years getting rid of both and are more hostile to islam and muslims than the rest of Europe. I wonder why.

  15. Excellent response shaykh, may Allah guide these people who can’t see past their own narrow minded views and can’t accept that there are other opinions – all in the name of liberalism. How pathetic.

    John, could you please specify when and where the shaykh has called for criminalising homosexuality? He may well have stated Islam’s view on it (which is fixed and any Muslim claiming different is inventing their own version of Islam), but when has he said the UK should prosecute anyone for being homosexual?

    • ‘It is in this vein that I commend the many Christian bishops and ministers who have come out in opposition to the current proposals to allow homosexuals to ‘marry’, and I support them in their endeavour to dissuade the government from including LGBTs in current marriage legislation. We also appreciate the brave stance of the Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in defending a law that criminalises homosexual acts and determinedly standing for higher moral standards.’

      > The Sheikh believes it to be an act of righteousness to EXCLUDE gay people from marriage
      > The Sheikh commends Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for upholding the criminalisation of homosexuality (though typically, there is an irony here: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is very ambiguous on the issue of homosexuality, as much as appearing to endorse criminalisation, she has also hinted at a possible-eventual decriminalisation)

      Based on these premises can we make the following inferences? 1) The Sheikh would support India’s recent u-turn on its removal of anti-sodomy laws. 2) The Sheikh would support any calls in this country for a similar u-turn (unlikely though it is).

      Denying gay people the freedom to get married even though legislation allows an opt out clause for religious institutions is a terrible illustration of hostility by one minority of another. The thin-end-of-the-wedge arguments are much the same as those made by racist and xenaphobic people (niqab; segregation at universities; Muslims refusing to scan alcohol on tills at M&S).

      There are certain ways of holding faith that are cruel and here is an example of it.

    • Evening Sirai.

      I am not aware of an instance where Dr. Haitham Al-Haddad, who if you don’t mind I’ll just refer to from now as Mr H. has called for The UK to recrimanilise homosexuality in thjose words . However the words he has used here


      Include such quotes as

      “a great evil and harm to society”

      “in order to combat the scourge of homosexuality Alla…”

      We also appreciate the brave stance of the Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in defending a law that criminalises homosexual acts and determinedly standing for higher moral standards.


      “I pray to Allah to preserve this country from evil practices, to save us from such acts, and to keep us steadfast in enjoining good and forbidding evil.”

      Now the purpose of his article may indeed be to just to campaign in the UK against same sex marriages. Indeed may other people did so. However they did not use language like this. They simply said that things had already gone far enough and no further. Now if he was just saying that I would have no argument particularly with him. Indeed there are quotes from others saying that although Homosexuality is not seen as permissible in Islam its not a problem if your not a Muslim and if you are then it is a reason for regret but its not a reason for killing or indeed legally punishing anyone.

      Unless Mr H. walks around with his eyes shut and his hands over his ears he cant fail to notice that there are many gay people in the UK and the government policies are striving to be Gay friendly. Indeed I have both gay relatives and friends who have families of their own. Unless you did around in the political fringes, or the Catholic church its difficult to find anyone who is really against Gays to the extent of calling them a criminal act.

      If he wants live in the UK to talk of “criminal acts” while meaning its against religions(s) then that is a rather unfortunate form of words to say the least. Its not difficult at all to construed “criminal acts” meaning acts that should be against criminal law and he, or someone in his entourage, should have the common sentence to realize that. He does call homosexuality a “Hot topic ” and to stretch the metaphor only sightly, one needs to be careful when handling hot objects.

      My interpretation is that at the very least he is not “Gay friendly or indeed even “Gay neutral” but that he would like to see homosexuality recrimanalised and by dint of this the lives of many of my friends and relatives destroyed. Naturally I am seriously against that.

  16. MashaAllah, an excellent response by the Sheikh.

    On a side note, I would urge the brothers and sisters here not to get too caught up by the decisive tactics of some of the more critical posters here (we all know which political group they are from). They are the long-standing trolls of the UK Islamic scene, they love to argue, they accept no one but their own ‘scholars’ and most of their activity is focussed on the internet and forums like this – they do very little positive action on the ground. Let us foster unity between Muslims, overlook our minor difference, and ensure we do not fall into the agenda of those who consciously or unconsciously divide the Ummah thereby furthering the interests of the enemies of Islam.

  17. Homosexuality in Islam: Is There A Place For Gay Muslims?


  18. May Alah keep you steadfast Shaikh and give you the strength to carry on . These people will never silence us, we have Allah on our side. Good response

  19. @John
    1. dr al haddad is a british passport holder thus this is his home. You don’t know that because you are a victim of misinformation. Thus if you want to send him home then it will be to east london.

    2. homosexuals are imposing a view that human beings have a natural tendency to both genders. Thus they are defining all human beings. This is something I take issue with.

    3. In 1952 Alan Turing was chemically castrated in Britain. The Mathematician and ww2 code breaker. Yes this happened in Britain for his homosexual behaviour. Not long ago matey. Times change – people change – societies change. The debate is constantly evolving – not over. It evolves because this society has no sense of values. Human arrogance is always to believe that the society in which they currently reside is converging towards perfection. A reflective human being may have a different view that differs with the status quo.

    4. Dr. Al Haddad has not broken any incitement to hatred laws wrt homosexuals otherwise he would have been arrested. Why do you say he is whipping up hate? You are trying to close down his right to express his religious view by declaring he is whipping up hate.

    5. You’re a victim of trial by media propaganda

    • 1. He can have whatever passport he wants but he dosn;t seem to be very in tune with modern Britain’s values. This country cant be right for everyone, maybe he would just be happier somewhere else.

      2. Homosexuals are doing nothing of the sort they are saying they have a natural tendency to be fulfilled with someone of the same gender. How does that redefine you or anyone else? It like complaining that because someone else says ‘its raining’ then they are defining the weather for you.

      3. Yes indeed society is evildoing away from a primitive fer of homosexuality towards a more compassionate understanding and acceptance. Alan Turing was a genius and if he had had the fortune to be born fifty years later he would have been making advance after advance in technology and probably settled down happily with a husband and a few kids. Instead due to the attitudes of the 1950’s his life and genius was destroyed. Are you seriously suggesting the latter would be the better outcome.

      Societies acceptance of homosexuality just moves on faster and faster. If you seriously suggesting its going to swing around to your opinion again then be my guest; and settle down for a long and increasingly lonely wait.

      He is arguing for homosexuality to be re criminalized. That’s trying to destroy peoples lives. He can argue that it is not something he approves of but criminalizing it is something else. Would you argue that the BNP arguing for the criminalizing the reading of the Koran is not whipping up hate against Muslims.

      • @John

        1. Values are things that have been around for a while. Modern Britain has newly found assertions that are alien to my grandparents who are white british and of the war generation. Youre a fool if you believe the rhetoric of self indulging glorification that our society likes to gratify itself with. Oh yes were so superior and so advance. Yes we think its normal for two women to marry and […edited by moderator]. then get artifically inseminated and bring up children. Are you thick or what? how truly evolved we are. Half the tories who voted against gay marriage john – which country shall we send them to?

        Seriously John should modern britain let 2 gay biological brothers marry? Should we recognise that happy union? if not why not? and if so then I suggest you are out of touch with modern britain. In which case let’s send you back to where you came from eh. Under a rock!

        youre so wrong its painful and tedious responding to everything. So I wont.

        • Hi nice to be back with you sunny. How is Cher?

          Well I do have lot of respect for the people of the UK who fought through the war years but if we are using that time a s a high water make for British society lets see what the leader of the pack, so to speak Winston Churchill though about Islam.He said

          “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
          Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
          in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
          countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
          of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the
          Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and
          refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan
          law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as
          a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the
          faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

          Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion
          paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde
          force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant
          and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising
          fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the
          strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled,
          the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

          So id we are using the war years as a model of how to think do you accept this view or do you pick and choose what suits you?

          2 . Oh there is no 2. just 1. Never mind. The definition of incest in the UK is a tortuous one but it does not include just incest where there is the chance of sex resulting in children, it also includes the idea that people who have no genetic relationships whatsoever, but have accepted each other as family members may not marry. For example a male and female who do not share any birth parents but one each of their birth parents have married are then counted as brother and sister may not marry each other. *Exactly* why this is I am not sure as different countries appear to have vastly different laws on incest, but I assume this close familiar relationship changing into marriage has been seen as unhealthy. I can also find no record of two gay brothers who have lived together as brothers who wish to marry and until such a couple comes forwards, I will reserve judgement on weather this should ever be allowed to happen.

          I’ll spare the moderators blushes by not going into lurid detail but there are many situations most of us would possibly not feel happy about. For example a 20 year old incredibly attractive fit young gymnast who wants to marry some one who is sixty, obese and has no arms and legs might make some people raise a few eyebrows to say the least. Yet is there a good reason to ban such a marriage?

      • John I’m sure there’s a job awaiting you at the Daily Mail and other equally sensationalist hate-stokers that would advertise the harmless stating of one’s belief (which happens to be coherent with the vast majority of human beings and animals) as “criminalizing homosexuality”. As the article below which you are posting this has made explicitly clear, this pitiful methodology will not get any ‘like’s here. Try something else.

  20. @Kashif suing for defamation is an extremely expensive libel action to take. Shaikh may well have responded to the papers concerned and may possibly get an apology. Anyone who knows this field understands that this can take months and also may be a minute correction hidden away on page 30. Its not justice

  21. @abu yusuf you should base someone’s opinions on more than one myopic quotation. Shaikh is right to say that it is the antithesis to liberal values – it does not imply agreement with them. His use of the phrase OUR liberal democratic values is clumsy – but if he is a british passport holder – which he is – then im afraid OUR is meaning these are the values of the land in which we currently reside. Its clear from elsewhere that shaikh is not a liberal. It is clumsy wording – quite possibly a rushed response – not easy when one is under attack.

  22. Assalamualaykum, brothers and sisters. To deal with skeptics is to be silence. No matter how hard you try to back the truth, there’s always an unexpected threat coming. So, let them speak, until their brains come out from their mouths. Their skeptical answers may win today but at the Mahshar, those answers will be the proof of their arrogance.

  23. Homosexuals are not trying to impose anything on anybody. All they want is equality to marry and bring up their children. Britain has decided it is a country that treats its Homosexual citizens with absolute equality. Of course people are free to disagree with this, although the number who do is rapidly diminishing and the debate is largely over. The only mainstream political party which would support Al-Haddad is probably and ironically the BNP.

    I would allow the expression of counter opinions such as “that it is against the law of god.” Just as I, and I assume you, would allow the view to be expressed that “Islam is the religion of the devil.” Incidentally both of these are views I do not believe.

    However he is going beyond this, and this is where your argument falls apart., he is at the least defending the criminalization of of Homosexuality. He is perfectly entitled to say he doesn’t like whatever he does not like but this is him imposing his views on others and also in my view whipping up hatred.

    He would attack the rights of members of my family and my friends. Just as I am entitled to say who I want and do not want in my home I am perfectly entitled to say I don’t want him in my country and say his removal should be imposed on him.

    • Your regard of the BNP as a “mainstream political party” is not surprising considering your views. Luckily people that talk like you are rapidly diminishing, too, so statistically I would say you have less of a right of calling this your country and deciding who is or is not part of it.

      • I am a Labour party member and have campaigned against the BMP. Sadly they have succeed in gaining seats in the European Parliament, London assembly and many local councils. This made them mainstream enough to get them on Question Time.

        However if it makes you happy I’ll change the sentence to, “The most mainstream political party which would support Al-Haddad (on homosexuality) is probably and ironically the BNP.”

        My point remain the same and I think you have rather jumped the gun on my political views.

    • @John
      1. dr al haddad is a british passport holder thus this is his home. You don’t know that because you are a victim of misinformation. Thus if you want to send him home then it will be to east london.

      2. homosexuals are imposing a view that human beings have a natural tendency to both genders. Thus they are defining all human beings. This is something I take issue with.

      3. In 1952 Alan Turing was chemically castrated in Britain. The Mathematician and ww2 code breaker. Yes this happened in Britain for his homosexual behaviour. Not long ago matey. Times change – people change – societies change. The debate is constantly evolving – not over. It evolves because this society has no sense of values. Human arrogance is always to believe that the society in which they currently reside is converging towards perfection. A reflective human being may have a different view that differs with the status quo.

      4. Dr. Al Haddad has not broken any incitement to hatred laws wrt homosexuals otherwise he would have been arrested. Why do you say he is whipping up hate? You are trying to close down his right to express his religious view by declaring he is whipping up hate.

      5. You’re a victim of trial by media propaganda

  24. May Allah ‘Azza wa Jal protect our Sheikh and his family and others like him, who are the frequent target of brazen lies and defamation from sections of the so-called ‘free press’.

    I must agree with some of the comments though that if there is a legal case that can be made for defamation of character, the Sheikh should take steps to pursue this. Why? Because these lackeys from the press only understand one method of communication – money. That is their dunya, pure and simple. So I say, hit them where it hurts.

  25. Abu Yusuf al-Hanbali

    May Allah keep the shaykh steadfast and take my comment as Naseehah

    Why is it when one gives constructive criticism others come to defend without any real argument but turn to personal attack and malign?!

    It’s clear that the shaykh instead of using this as an opportunity to present the sublime islamic values (that does not contradict sound reason) and expose the hypocrisy of “liberal democratic values”, he instead used their own warped premise to refute them?!

    “I find the idea of so-called ‘anti-extremism ASBOs’, as featured in the Taskforce on Tackling Radicalisation report, the very ANTITHESIS of liberal democratic values.”

    “The shameless bulldozing of OUR liberal democratic values to force conformity on the citizenry is a betrayal of the principles on which democracy rests”

    [words capitalised by me for emphasis]

    In discussion & debates we use their premise to expose its contradictions but the shaykh used their premise “liberal democratic values” as if they are in line with Islam?!

    We’ve lost the argument from sound reason the moment we present our arguments like them? This is what they want Muslims to practice Islam upon liberal democratic values.

  26. He is the kindest, and perhaps the most authentic muslim you may ever find in the UK. He follows the Qur’an &Sunnah and the major scholars of the past. Sh. Haitham Al Haddad May Allah bless him with Jannah Firdaus AMEEN.

  27. The guy holds pretty rubbish views on Homosexuality as reproduced elsewhere on this site and just for that I want him out of my country. There are plenty of countries he could go to that would share his views but of course he wont.

    Just another pathetic Muslim desperate to get into the west .


    • No he doesn’t, he just holds opinions that you don’t want him to hold. You want him to conform to you. Let him have his opinion and you can keep yours. That is Freedom of Speech. Right?

      • You’re right. And this freedom was afforded in this country and so, could that be a value we could be proud of? Could we term it a British value? Could we ask Muslims to recognise the benefits they enjoy of residing in this country? The climate has changed, of course, harassment by the police and security services; greater vilification; open hostility. But surely these changes owe something to do with our lack as a population as well as Muslims in our midst, just as much as outside agendas. Part of the problem, internally at least, has been to see a diversity of opinion as threatening. Diversity is afforded only in a pre-agreed (classical) consensus: difference of opinion on how to pray (where to place hands); on voting. But if we are truthful and know of the 1990s era, we must also say that for a good number of years the discourse amongst Muslims has been one in which Britain is characterised solely by its foreign policy and therefore spoken about with great hostility. Emerging from such a context, when Muslim brothers and sisters draw on the right to freedom of speech, it sounds terribly opportunistic. THAT IS NO REASON TO DENY THAT FREEDOM TO MUSLIMS [which is why the ASBO is such a disgrace] but merely to point out: LOOK, OH MUSLIM, can you not see a relationship between the discursive attitude presented over many years and the current circumstances in which people are suspicious of what you say and who you are.

    • Abu Yusuf al-Hanbali

      John, typical of people who cannot intellectually defend their warped thoughts, “I want him out my country”!

      If a person wants to be homosexual than that’s for him and those who follow him why should he or they try to impose that upon others who differ! Those who differ are willing to discuss how homosexuality is against the nature of man, all monotheistic religious text and rational reasoning. We do not impose our difference or go around belittling or mocking them and wish that you do the same.

      And furthermore if a people continue to malign another that differs with them than it cannot play the moral high ground and claim to be tolerant to those it differs with. And this country belongs as much as to those who live as British citizens as yours, the contribution of Muslims with their Islamic values (family orientation, being honest at times, respecting the elders, affectionate to the young, etc) is essential for a country rampant with individualism, family breakdowns, disrespect, etc and if you wish to believe the propaganda that our values are of terrorism, killing than know those going around carpet bombing, drone attacks, etc are not Muslims those resisting are!

  28. Thanks for clarifying your views. Rest assured I doubt anyone takes their articles seriously. For those who are unfamiliar with your Islamic perspective on issues, they are free to access full lectures from YouTube. May Allah continue to bless your work and allow us to benefit from your teachings.

  29. Excellent response to the claims made by the media. I think it’s high time Muslims woke up to the truth about what the media is really trying to do – create an atmosphere of hatred towards Muslims and make society intolerable to us so we have no choice but to want to leave. It’s no secret the media has always distorted the truth and quite frankly, are the worst people on the planet when it comes to speaking the truth, which for the most part is subjective to whether or not they have their own agenda or not. The hypocrisy amongst them is rife and in most cases it really is a case of pot calling kettle black. May Allah SWT preserve the Sheikh who has every right to defend the accusations made against his character. I think most Muslims forget they should be trying to please the Creator rather than the creation. And as the Prophet SAW said that if you see an evil then stop it with your hand, if not then stop it by your mouth (speak out against it) and if not, then hold it in your heart as this is the weakest of imaan. And as for those akhwat who think this is the appropriate place to pick holes in how the Sheikh has written his rebuttal, shame on you – is that really all you could see? You took the words but not their intent or meaning? Surely you are doing exactly what the media does and that is distracting from the truth. Appalling.

  30. Asif- are you aware both papers are controlled by the same group who control the worlds media? Of course they would demonise anybody who speak out against the likes of Dr Haitham because he is championing the cause of Islam and justice- please read the cases of Lord Northcliffe and Ezra Pound, they spoke out against the Freemasons hence this group who controls the media demonised them both through the media – same as the above UK papers.

    • I have NO sympathy for these newspapers. I consider them vile examples, not just of bad journalism but also malicious journalism. My sympathies are entirely with the Sheikh. All I am doing is pointing out that the response could have been sharper – both in terms of presentation AND conceptually. As a gay Muslim I disagree with the Sheikh on different issues, and the way he has written his piece makes him vulnerable to seeming to appeal to those very values which he, in truth, is critical of. Such Shuyukh already suffer an image problem, and practicing Muslims on the whole are being presented as duplicitous (see bro Omar Ali vs Yasmin Alibhai-Brown where Omar falls into the same trap); hence the article – NOTE: the ARTICLE – is what I am taking issue with.

  31. Pathetic. Though I’ve heard of this man, glad I never followed him

  32. Amir, subhanAllah, speaking frankly, brothers like you are really frustrating to deal with. What has the shaykh not been honest about – what a ludicrous assertion to make? As regards the law, do you even know anything about the law, the tests involved, what the threshold is in bringing a case, what the funding requirements are etc? Next time, for your sake and that of others, think before you open speak because you come across as a “holier than thou” character. As for “we should not be afraid of the law” – I’ve not seen you giving any public lectures clarifying islam’s views on issues – perhaps when you do so, you can then speak to others about doing/not doing so. May Allah guide us All

  33. Excellent article from the Sheikh, may Allah preserve him.

  34. The more they oppress, the more Islam is growing. We highly respect Sh. Haitham. He knows what he is doing. There are people always to hate. We pray for shaik’s victory. Sameway UK tried to destroy Dr. Zakir Naik which is big loss to UK Muslims and truth seeking near to Islam brothers and Sisiters. We pray for his victory and those who are facing some difficulties….

  35. Very reasonable and well argued by Dr. Al-Haddad. Such Islamophobic defamation of individuals by much-read newspapers ought to be taken to court.

  36. Anver Hussain

    Obviously the Shaikh is being perceived as a threat by the British government, on the basis of the popularity that he has gained through his religious discourses. This is the norm everywhere especially in the West which practices double standards in the extreme. The Shaikh should not worry about all these but instead continue his services in the way he knows best. Responding to such allegations/accusations may or may not make any difference to the general perception people have of the Shaikh. But surely it will not dent his reputation with intelligent people who are fully aware of the depth of his knowledge and the kind of person he is. Detractors will always be there in many forms. It is best to ignore them unless doing so will have repressive legal implications.

    I pray the Almighty to keep the Shaikh under His protection and safe keeping. Ameen!

  37. Amir, Sheikh Haithams English is probably better then most of the British population. And this comment just shows that no matter how good the article is, you will always have something negative to say, as it has no relevance to the subject. By the way. Excellent article… May Allah(swt) reward Sheikh Hatham for all his efforts….

  38. Aswb
    Excellent response Sheikh. May Allah protect you from the evil wrongdoers and their malicious allegations. Unlike some brothers here I know how it feels to be maligned by the Sunday times and it’s sisters. I too was a victim of their bent and Islamaphobic publications! And I know how incredibly difficult it is to sue them without financial backings. But, I feel this is bigger than me and you or any other individual.. There is a campaign to curtail our religious beliefs and what we can say or even can practise. I hope the community CAN realise what is happening sooner than later and amass the necessary response to defend our belief and creed before we are told for example ‘ZAKAT can only be collected by Goerge Osbourne’!

  39. I doubt the Sheikh writes full articles himself as his English is not great. Far too many sheikhs try to appease the west and are afraid to be frank and honest. Haitham should be honest. We have Allah to answer to and one should not be afraid of the law. If everything in the newspaper are lies why doesn’t he sue them?

    • Speak the truth or say nothing.

      You either knowhe does write them or you don’t.

      Also written language is very different to spoken. So you speak the same as you write? Innit!

    • @amir accusing sh haitham of not been honest or frank or courageous enough to stand up for his views is a bit of a long shot. He’s been grilled by a whole hall full of Islam haters and still stood strong on his view. Sometimes I even wonder if he could tailor his speech to be an easier pill to swallow for the western audience. I think your comment in misplaced Amir.

    • amir, I’m sure he is happy to sue them if you’re happy to finance his legal fees. It costs a lot of money to bring a case, especially against well-oiled media machines.

    • Sue them?! Yeah nice one amir. Do you know how much it would cost in legal costs to take on national newspapers like these. I doubt Haitham can afford that.

  40. I am in agreement with the Shaykh response but would argue that rather than giving the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail the benefit of the doubt the Shaykh should seek legal advice with regards to the possibility of suing these newspapers for publicly demonising him and distorting his public image.

  41. A brilliant response from the Shaykh mashAllah and may Allah always protec and preservet him and may Allah humiliate his detractors. As for Naveed, I think you have failed to grasp the problems and challenges facing the Muslims and unfortunately it appears you fail to see the bigger picture. There is nothing in the Shaykh’s article where he comes across as apoplectic or anything of the kind, far from it. It’s a confident response, unrepentant as there is nothing to be repentant for. Know this Naveed, talk is cheap, so put your talk into action next time perhaps before holding others to account. Allah knows best.

  42. Asif, stop acting like a big headed egotistical know it all. You came across like an absolute self righteous mug there with that response. Go back to Pakistan.

    • Really? Proof reading isn’t important? Just one example: Specious = superficially plausible, but actually wrong; Spurious = not being what it purports to be; false or fake.

      So > “The claim is as specious as it is ridiculous” – is the claim then as superficially plausible (though wrong) as it is ridiculous? Or, is it as false as it is ridiculous?

      *sigh* – is it wrong to point this out? My goodness, one must be sycophantic and toe the line or else suffer potential reprimand from the likes of you. Careful – such a group mentality risks turning one’s loyalties and sympathies into what is commonly associated with cults.

      Furthermore, when the Sheikh writes: ‘I find the idea of so-called “anti-extremism ASBOs”…the very antithesis of liberal democratic values. It is almost as if we are moving towards an Orwellian dystopia where the state wishes to control not only what we say but also what we think, all the while claiming to champion democracy and freedom.’

      > “The antithesis of liberal democratic values” – are you bemoaning the fact that the ASBOs weaken these values? Are you pointing out the irony, even though you yourself don’t subscribe to them? Are you being pragmatic and pointing out that ASBOs are contradictory to these values because these values enable you to exist fairly peacefully in this country and therefore you’d like to see these values ultimately trump these ASBOs?

      The Sheikh has written elsewhere (‘Who are we and are we proud to be British?’) that it makes little sense to claim pride to be British, mainly because it is unclear what constitutes Britishness in such a statement. He suggests (in the aforementioned article) that one should be loyal to values* not to people. That being the case, who is the ‘we’ that is being appealed to? Are we seeking from people a recognition of the double standards being applied to oneself in the hope that these same people may come to see the injustice committed against oneself in their name? Yet people are extraneous in the value-dominant position professed by the Sheikh. If loyalty is only to values and not to the personhood of those who hold those values, then why should I (non-Muslim in particular) defend your rights given that our values do not correspond. This is why Voltaire’s adage is so important: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

      So now, tell us, those liberal democratic values that are being compromised in the case of Muslim speakers (and hence the reference to Orwell); does the Sheikh believe in them? If not, then surely because his values are different to those of the liberal-democrats means the liberal-democrats need not see any bond or loyalty or sympathy with the sheikh – right? And, isn’t it just slightly ironic that the Sheikh speaks of an Orwellian state – as if to decry: look out folks, if we allow the likes of me to be gagged by ASBOs – when Muslim homosexuals are pariahs in Muslim communities, so much so that their support networks have to be hidden, discrete. Indeed, what freedom of expression may a Muslim homosexual expect if he or she were to live in the type of society that Sheikh Haitham would consider Islamic? Could they try to speak publicly, build a consensus, draw people to their views, hope that with enough activism they may secure recognition, better treatment and equality in so far as being in public with their loved one; holding hands, laughing and joking the way lovers and spouses do and can? Probably not; there they’d be deemed criminal no doubt.

      *”loyalty should be given to values and whoever upholds them and not to people irrespective of what values they hold”

      • Your original comment made you look a bit pedantic who expressed himself rudely, now it’s clear you have an agenda.

        Listen, as Muslims we want morality to prevail. Sometimes we appeal to western values of freedom and liberty when it is in favour of morality, for example the freedom to wear niqab and the freedom to speak against perverted sexual behaviour. Other times we say no, a line must be drawn and we appeal to western values of decency. For example, we don’t want people to dress nakedly on the streets, or freedom to insult and annoy others for no reason.

        So when Sh. Haitham Haddad appeals to liberal and democratic values, he wants to use these freedoms to promote islam and goodness. He isn’t endorsing the word in the way radical feminists do. When Sh. Haitham Haddad talks of conservative values, he doesn’t mean it in the way the ruling government are trying to silence Muslims who are trying to promote morality, he may be using it to say, let’s be sensible, there isn’t a need to act like animals in the way we express our sexuality.

        In conclusion, Muslims aren’t extremists when it comes to embracing liberal or conservative values. We agree with whatever is agreeable to Allah. We have nothing to hide.

        • Replace morality with ideology and what you have is a type of parity – one group of bigots (right wingers) battling with another group of bigots (Muslims who claim to be able to distill from the text a morality ordained by God; blind to the fact that the process of distilling – whether it be ibn Taymiyah [ra] or Sheikh Haitham, invariably introduces human agency and thus history and culture).

          Replace morality with self interest (Sometimes we appeal to western values of freedom and liberty…Other times we say no) and you have a clear example of speaking with a forked tongue (the antithesis of an ideal Muslims’ speech)

          My agenda; pray tell, what is that? I am not duplicitous as you are claiming to be (and, I should add, in assuming the Sheikh is with you, doing him a major disservice too). I have no agenda. My position is neither relevant here nor necessary to be stated. I am identifying inconsistency in the approach you have summarized so succinctly. This approach is not lost on people. It is the reason Muslims are increasingly suspect for not speaking truthfully but to deceive. That is the impression right wing ideologues forward and people such as you and articles such as this one (amongst others) play directly into their hands. So strange; you see me as an opponent, when all I am doing is saying, craft your arguments more carefully lest you unknowingly give your true opponents the very chances they are looking for.

          It is not that I haven’t picked up on your comments regarding my sexuality. Perverted and animalistic though they may seem to you, they are as natural to me as it is to breathe. I shall say only this then: because you see what I am as something foul and homosexuality as my test (at which, presumably you’d say, I am failing no doubt) – may Allah never give you a child who will be tested thus.

  43. This was an excellent response to a thoroughly poor set of articles attempting to defame the Shaykh and demonise mainstream orthodox Islam.

    I have known the Shaykh and attended his lectures on and off for about a decade. Never in all that time have I heard him espouse anything outside of mainstream Islamic teachings and certainly nothing to warrant such an odious slur on his character. On the contrary, I and many others have greatly benefited from his teachings. I can honestly say that through better practice of orthodox Islam I have become a better human being and thus a better citizen.

    Islam has everything to offer the UK and indeed the world. This is not just spiritually, but by way of practical solutions to many social, economic and political problems. It is utterly reprehensible that newspapers like the Daily Mail, which often espouses the very worst of British values, have chosen to maliciously target those preachers propagating this message. Ironically these so called “hate preachers” call to truth, justice and many other British values that were all missing in the recent articles slandering the Shaykh.

    I pray that Allah rewards the Shaykh and all those preaching orthodox Islamic values, and grants us the clarity of vision to recognise truth from lies.

  44. ‘I was deeply saddened on Sunday morning, to see AN article in your newspaper maligning me and attributing to ME BELIEFS THAT I MYSELF have argued against FOR MANY YEARS’.

    ‘I would like to give The Sunday Times and the Daily Mirror the benefit of the doubt and suggest that the articles are merely a product of lazy, armchair journalism rather than working towards a malicious agenda, I only wish you would have afforded me the same courtesy.’ = SAME COURTESY? THAT YOUR WORK IS ALSO THE PRODUCT OF “LAZY ARMCHAIR” SCHOLARSHIP?

    ‘However, UNFORTUNATELY it does feel to me as though I am being deliberately demonised and my public image distorted by various right-wing newspapers, blogs and think tanks to fit the profile of A ‘hate preacher’’

    ‘The claim is as specious as it is ridiculous’ = shouldn’t it be SPURIOUS rather than specious?

    Same old Islam21c – proof reading? It’s difficult to see the website and those running it having any credibility in leading the Muslim population intellectually if they cannot even organise themselves to proof read articles. Just another example of the gap between some Muslims’ self-perception (leaders, intellectuals, thinkers, imams etc) and the reality of a motley crew of amateurs.

    I have great sympathy for Sheikh Haitham, but I partly agree with Naveed. In public discourse, the likes of Sheikh Haitham are seen as duplicitous. They draw upon notions of freedom of speech and liberal values (democracy etc) but only opportunistically. For many readers then (and for this one in particular), such a response strikes a note of irony for one set of opportunists (the self-righteous Right Wing newspapers, who too draw on the same values but discard them when it suits them) railing against another (Conservative Muslims who deny the foundational benefits of individualism and democracy [presenting their ill effects mostly] but then appeal to them when they need to).

    Finally, Muslim scholars and public figures need better training. There is a strange reticence amongst those already in the public domain for actively pursuing regular training and de-briefing. I guess Muslim organisation are still run on volunteers and like family/friends’ projects. They cannot compete like this.

    • That awkward moment when you try and correct someone’s English only to have it pointed out that it WAS correct and you didn’t have a clue.

      Poor fella

      • But it wasn’t and isn’t correct. I don’t mean to be rude bro, but what are you on about?

        • The word works in the context intended (and gives more subtlety to the paragraph).

          If you can’t figure out why then I feel sorry for those who would pay for your proof reading services.

          • That really is a joke now. Your obstinance to accept that there are errors in presentation is shameful (specious is incorrectly used here). Such a small matter and your utter nonsensical dedication to prove right what is patently wrong is a clear example of ideological intransigence, tribalism and clannish behaviour. Naudhubillah akhi, this is not what your mashaikh teach you.

        • Mate, you have absolutely every right to disagree with the actual contents of the statement but trying so desperately to find *specious* mistakes is just fallacious. If you insist on digging yourself deeper and deeper into this hole then I will highlight your fallacies but I suggest you just leave it here and talk about something else. I am sure you have something constructive to add to the debate.

    • you seem to be a “good” proof reader. I need someone to proof read my dissertation which is due in couple weeks-
      let me know if you have some more free time correcting some more text-

      jazakaAllah khair

      • I do as it happens – professionally at UCL; you’ll find my number there on the notice boards. There’s a charge I’m afraid, it’s one way for a student to raise some cash; I’m sure you know of the service I’m talking about if you’re at university yourself. But seriously, and sincerely, is my pointing this out so utterly out of order? Islam21c is a website; it ought to have systems in place. I concede however, that this is not the case with Islam21c alone; Muslim organisations for decades seem to aspire to great stations as bodies that will help bring change (by the decree of Allah, of course) but how can that be if the smallest of things are overlooked. Here is a similitude: A good head teacher knows that often it is by ensuring the little things are tightened up, that big things will follow, e.g. Tightening up on uniform can help improve ethos and behaviour. Your ire is misplaced dear brothers (and sisters?)

    • Asif your pathetic attempt at criticizing won’t help anyone. GET OUT OF YOUR ARMCHAIR AND STOP COMPLAINING! Arguing over semantics does nothing good.

      • Not arguing over semantics – I’m talking about presentation. I’m not sitting in an armchair either. Why assume I am? Would it help if I gave you information about what I do? What Muslim/Islamic activities I am involved in? Would that make my comments more palatable? Strange isn’t it. Are your responses to me not illustrative of ideologically-motivated-knee-jerk reactions? Step outside and think with a cool head, perhaps my comments will appear differently – if not reasonable then at least respectable; or would you deny that too?

    • Asif,
      Truly, I feel sorry for you.
      May Allah guide you clearly and have mercy on us all.

    • Abdurrahman Siddique

      Asif, Shaykh Haitham is always looking to recruit proof readers to edit the material on Islam21C; would you like to join the team??

      • Really? Are you making fun of me? Lol. I’m sorry; it’s just between the hostility and the atmosphere of sardonic humour on this forum, it’s difficult to interpret your words. I guess I would be interested but wonder whether someone like me would be accepted. Anyway, perhaps it’s a moot point: I have tons to be doing myself. But if you were sincere in what you say, I thank you for your sincerity (I choose to interpret it as an olive branch 🙂

        • Assalam alaykom Asif,
          Really I didn’t think your correcting the grammar of the article was such a bad thing. However, it exists a certain etiquette for pointing out mistakes in Islam, namely in private.
          Next time you might benefit more – both yourself as well as the target of your correction attempts – if you care to send them a private email with the corrected text.
          If it were possible, I would have done it myself with you in this case. But I don’t see any way to send you this message privately.
          The point you raise is also somewhat true in my view, that the way things are presented is important. Let’s not forget however, that form is less important than content, both in our religion alhamdullilah as well as in general… this is something that oftentimes is overseen.
          May Allah accept our sincere intentions to help one another, amin!

          Salam alaykom,
          Umm Malik

  45. As Salamu alaikoum
    Jazakallahu khairan shaikh for your efforts again
    ISLAM is constantly being distorted and lied about, because it represents a real challenge to the corrupt and oppressive values of today’s world.
    We pray that Allah keeps things going in the right direction for everyone who is fighting for justice and who is sincere in that.
    Really sad to see some negative comments about this article, but unfortunately it happens sometimes that people miss the point.

  46. Good response by Dr. Haitham al-Haddad.

    Both Muslims and non-Muslims know of the scandalous nature of the media, especially that of newspapers and hopefully people will view this issue objectively and see the lies for what they are.

  47. Yahya Muzamil

    There once lived three bulls, a white bull, a black bull, and a red bull. Looking for food, a lion watched them graze together and realized he could not contend with all three. So he went to the black and red bull and made a deal with them. He told them that he was very ferocious and powerful and that if they let him eat the white bull, he would leave them in peace. The black and red bull agreed, and the lion murdered and then ate the white bull.
    Time passed and the lion became hungry again. He went to the red bull and argued that he was ferocious and powerful and that if he let him eat the black bull he would leave him in peace. The red bull agreed and the lion murdered and then ate the black bull.
    As time passed and the lion became hungry, he visited the red bull again. As the red bull saw death in the lions eye, as the teeth dug deep into it’s neck, it shouted, “Verily I was eaten the day the white bull was eaten!”

    Oh muslim organisations please get together and see this is an attack against islam and not our sheikh Please let us unite or the government will kill all of you



    • bibi aujeemuddeee

      Masha Allah what a beautiful reminder, May Allah bless our sheikhs who will never bend the rules and principles of Islam for anyone. Strive in His way until our goal is Jannah. May Allah protect our deen and save our sheikhs amen.

      • I have serious problems about religions that were founded in the 6th century or as far back as 3,500 years ago. Little was understood about sexual orientation. It was important that tribes had many wives and children for survival purposes. But what, if the leaders got it wrong and homosexuals are born this way?

  48. Brilliant response. I hope that the majority of reasonable minded people are able to see what is happening. And that those hell bent in spreading lies and filled with their own hatred are silenced.

    Br. Naveed – I look forward to your lectures and articles critiquing liberalism. Too many armchair critics these days and what is worse, armchair critiquing is at this point of time more damaging than ever before.

  49. Yahya Muzamil

    naveed I think its clear that every muslim calls for Sharia to be one of our aims. But when we don’t have that as an option at the moment don’t forget the end goal that is trying to get to Jannah. so if it means at the moment living in the UK means we muslims need to get more involved and lessen the evil than so be it.
    He doesn’t really appeal to them but as they are the people in power the sheikh is clearly showing how many double standards they have.

    Also at times u have to be real according to the situation u live in to make sure you leave as many doors open for people to get to jannah.

    May Allah protect the sheikh and I Urge all muslim organisations to support him. Today its sheikh Tomorrow will be so and so until they target everyone except for the complete lovers of secularism like Usama and majid

  50. Excellent article masha Allah
    Covered some very interesting points … brothers who agree should show their support by leaving more comments insha’Allah
    The media is the real hate preacher for starting these false accusations and building a case full of lies that can be easily refuted.
    Nothing good is ever said about our scholars or preachers of true islam..
    ..they try to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light even if the polytheists hate it..

  51. Dissapointing response by sh. Haitham. Rather than undermining secular values he tries to appeal to them.

    His point about political participation hides the fact he’s against democracy in principle.

    I think scholars need to wake up the attempts to demonise Muslims is to pressurise them to conform to the dominant political culture. So to affirm these values or give that impression only falls into this agenda.

    A proper critique of liberalism not justifying oneself by appeals to it is required.

    • Naveed, pointing out the hypocrisy of those who claim to believe in unrestricted ‘liberalist’ values is not the same as endorsing them, nor should it give that impression especially since the sheikh has mentioned that these come within certain boundaries in Islam. Secondly to say the sheikh is against democracy in principle is not entirely true, according to what I understood at the ‘dealing with politics’ Sabeel seminar a few weeks ago.

    • Yes, do so if you wish to continue ruining the lives of your Muslim brothers and sisters there.

      Think of them for a second, laa ilaahe illallaah!

      Ahmed Xhezairi

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