Muslim cleric denies supporting IS, asks Cameron to apologise
London, May 5 (IANS) A South London Muslim cleric on Thursday demanded an apology from David Cameron after the prime minister last month accused him of supporting Islamic State because he attacked Labour’s London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.
Muslim community leader Suliman Gani has firmly denied that he supports the IS terrorist group. He said the allegations were particularly surprising since he was a Conservative voter and had even been invited by a Tory candidate to attend a forum encouraging Muslims to become councillors, RT online reported.
Gani said: “I’m really, really upset. I’m deeply shocked — I am gobsmacked. Why am I singled out given that I have a track record on showing peaceful co-existence?”
During the Prime Minister’s Questions last month, Cameron agreed that Sadiq Khan had shared a platform with Gani, whom he accused of supporting IS.
But Zac Goldsmith, Sadiq Khan’s Tory rival in the mayoral election, hit back: “To share a platform nine times with Suliman Gani, one of the most repellent figures in this country, you don’t do it by accident.”
It later emerged that Goldsmith also had posed for a photo together with Gani who was invited to an event where Goldsmith spoke.
On Wednesday, Cameron doubled down on his remarks, claiming Gani had said women are “subservient to men”.
“He said that homosexuality was an unnatural act. He stood on a platform with people who want an Islamic state.”
Gani said in a statement posted to social media: “For the avoidance of any doubt, I state again that Islamic State is in no way compatible with my beliefs. I condemn IS wholeheartedly, and have done so repeatedly in public and in private since its inception.”
“This allegation that has been made about me is a smear on my good name. It is highly distressing to me, my family, and to those who know me.”