"It is not possible to be both gay and a Muslim." That was the opening gambit of Dr Mohammad Naseem, the chairman of the Birmingham Central Mosque, who was interviewed on Channel 4 News on Monday evening.
When asked by presenter Cordelia Lynch whether he regretted recently saying in a letter to the Huffington Post UKgay men and women share a common trait with murderers and paedophiles, Naseem demurred saying, "it was a simile – a simile highlights a common characteristic, it does not establish sameness."
However, according to Asif Quraishi, Britain’s only gay Muslim drag queen, who was also interviewed, conditions for the Muslim LGBT community are getting better.
"More and more Muslims are coming out and identifying positively as being gay," he said, adding that young gay Muslims need more role models.
In a letter sent last week to HuffPost UK, Naseem said: ""There are people with homosexual tendency in Muslim countries but they respect the law and control their desire as others do.
"Human beings do have weaknesses and tendencies which are not socially acceptable and so they try to have a control over them and do not give in.
"A compulsive murderer, gambler, paedophile etc. could present the same logic and ask for accommodation by the society. Are we going to accept on the basis of freedom of action?"