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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Iraqi LGBT expresses horror at anti-Muslim statements by London gay business owner

29 June, London - The Iraqi LGBT group has today expressed its shock and anger at comments branding all Muslims as extremists by a London gay business owner and their reporting by a UK LGBT news outlet.

Mark Ames of club XXL in London is quoted by as writing on Facebook: "From today I will be boycotting any shops, petrol stations restaurants or businesses I know are owned by Muslims this also includes holidays to Muslim [sic] countries today see [sic] our death toll up to 300, so why the hell are we not just flying this scum back out to there beloved states and pull out and let them fight out there [sic] own issues!"

Ames' comments were sparked by rioting following an anti-racist protest in East London 21 June. The 'death toll up to 300' remark relates to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Ali Hili, Leader of Iraqi LGBT, said: "This is an attack on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslims and all those many many Muslims who do not supporting the extremists including those who have supported us. This is hate speech. It is exactly the same sort of language as that used against LGBT people and that stereotypes and brands LGBT people."

Hili said that such hatred had the potential to increase the existing racism within the LGBT community and hurt members of the group he leads.

He called for a boycott of Ames' businesses until he retracts and apologises for his remarks.

"We should not tolerate this hatred directed at people on grounds of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any other factor. This shouldn't be tolerated in the community," he said.

Hili also criticised the coverage of the story by "I was rung for and gave comment on the story but this has not been used by the news website. I am not concerned whether or not I am quoted but that no LGBT Muslim is quoted in their article, instead they have used an anonymous comment from "One reader". This gives the impression that no gay Muslims are either speaking out or are prepared to be identified - which isn't true."

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