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Ban homophobic clerics from mosques, gay rights campaigners urge
Gay rights campaigners have urged mosque leaders in east London to ban homophobic clerics from using their premises, following a 21% rise in gay hate crime in the area.
Activists, including journalist Julie Bindel and Pride trustee Colm Howard-Lloyd, said some preachers at the East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre had "created an atmosphere in which hate is socially acceptable; they have spread a message in which maiming and violence is the most dutiful, honourable, devout thing to do".
Their concerns follow the £100 fine given to Mohammed Hasnath, who put up "Gay-Free Zone" stickers in the area; the case of Oliver Hemsley, who was paralysed from the neck down in August 2008 following a vicious attack; and Metropolitan police figures showing that gay hate crime had risen in the borough of Tower Hamlets – where the mosque and adjoining centre are located – from 67 attacks to 81 in a year.
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