‘Let’s get rid of them’: Islamic preacher who has called for gays to be ‘executed’ was giving lectures in Orlando weeks before nightclub massacre
- Farrokh Sekaleshfar was in Orlando in March giving public lectures
- In videos online Sekaleshfar has said homosexuals should be ‘executed’
- 49 people were killed when gunman opened fire in Orlando gay nightclub
An Islamic preacher who has called for gay people to be executed gave sermons in Orlando just weeks before the Pulse nightclub massacre.
Farrokh Sekaleshfar – a British-born doctor and Muslim scholar – has gained a following by urging Muslims to ‘get rid of’ homosexuals.
And in April, he took his speech titled ‘How to deal with the phenomenon of homosexuality’ to the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, just outside Orlando, Florida.
Two months later, 29-year-old Omar Mateen carried out the worst massacre in US history by opening fire on a gay club in the same city.
Mateen’s father has said he believes the attack was motivated by his son’s homophobia.
Seddique Mateen told NBC his son was enraged after seeing two men kissing in front of his wife and son during a visit to Miami a couple of months ago.
The father then condemned the shooting – but shocked many as he said: ‘God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality. This [killing] is not for the servants.’
It is not clear whether Port St Lucie-based Omar Mateen attended Sekaleshfar’s event in Orlando in April.
Previous versions of Sekaleshfar’s speech have been posted online, showing him say that gay people should die.
‘Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence,’ Sekaleshfar says in one sermon, dated in 2013.
‘We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.’
Sekaleshfar has not been linked to the Pulse nightclub massacre.
He also says ‘forgiveness is possible’ for homosexuality and that ‘executions’ should only be carried out in countries where Islamic law exists.
On Monday morning, Sekaleshfar posted a statement on his Facebook page offering his ‘sincere condolences to the friends and families of those massacred’.
‘The killing of innocent life is never justified by religion,’ he said.
‘The perpetrator of this shooting has directly violated this holy commandment and displayed a complete disregard for the
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