- Muhammed Patel, 20, is alleged to have called someone a 'fag' on Twitter
- Members of the society disrupted a lecture by a human rights campaigner
- Accused of intolerance due to cartoons of Christ and Prophet Mohammed
- Before the talk they claimed her 'bigoted views' violated their 'safe space'
The head of a university Islamic Society that accused an Iranian speaker of bigotry has quit – over a series of homophobic tweets.
Muhammed Patel, 20, is alleged to have called someone ‘fag’ on Twitter and to have written that ‘homosexuality is a disease of the heart and mind’.
Last month, members of the Islamic Society (ISOC) at Goldsmiths, University of London, disrupted a lecture by Maryam Namazie, a human rights campaigner and critic of Islam.
Men stood up and shouted, with one even switching off her projector when she showed a cartoon of Mohammed alongside Jesus Christ.
Resignation: Muhammed Patel, 20, resigned as the head of the Islamic Society at Goldsmiths, University of London, quit after allegations of homophobia
Tweet: Members of the society brought a motion of no confidence, saying that 'hate speech of any kind has no place in our society'
One of her colleagues said he had received a death threat during the lecture, in the form of a ‘shooting gun’ hand gesture.
Miss Namazie, 49, a former Muslim who fled the repressive regime in Iran and is an advocate of women’s rights, was later sent an anonymous death threat on Twitter.
At first, ISOC defended its actions, labelling Miss Namazie an ‘Islamophobe’ and claiming its members had been subject to ‘vile harassment’.
But in the days that followed, damning footage of what happened was posted online and critics uncovered abusive tweets about homosexuality sent from an account called Mopey96, thought to be used by Mr Patel.
They had been posted in August about the Channel 4 documentary Muslim Drag Queens, which explored the life of Muslim gays and drag queens in Britain.
Now, Mr Patel, a politics student, has resigned as president of ISOC after members brought a motion of no confidence. In a statement, the society said: ‘In light of recent allegations attributed to Muhammed Patel, a meeting was called to discuss a motion of no confidence.
‘Soon after Muhammad tendered his resignation and it was accepted by the committee. Hate speech of any kind has no place in our society.’ ISOC has denied that any of its members made death threats.
Miss Namazie’s lecture – ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of ISIS’ – was hosted by the university’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH).
Before the talk, the Islamic Society insisted Miss Namazie should not be allowed to speak because her ‘bigoted views’ violated their ‘safe space’.
Under university policies, people can be ejected from events if they are considered to be ‘invading’ a student’s ‘safe space’. This might include racist, sexist or homophobic insults’.
University: Before the talk, the Islamic Society insisted Miss Namazie should not be allowed to speak because her ‘bigoted views’ violated their ‘safe space’
ISOC pointed to a number of controversial comments Miss Namazie has made in the past, including describing the veil as a symbol of ‘far-Right Islamism’ and calling the niqab a ‘bin bag’.
Mr Patel lives with his father in Upton Park, East London. When a Mail reporter visited his home, his father said he was not in his room and refused to arrange for him to be contacted.
Mr Patel’s Facebook page carries an advertisement for an ISOC event featuring Moazzam Begg, who heads the CAGE group, which described Islamic State executioner Jihadi John as a ‘beautiful young man’.
The Goldsmiths students’ union said it had investigated what happened at the lecture and that both ASH and ISOC could be disciplined.
A Goldsmiths spokesman said: ‘We have a long-held reputation for promoting and supporting free speech and providing an inclusive and welcoming campus.
‘We are therefore concerned at reports from the student society event and its surrounding issues. We cannot comment on any of our discussions with individual students.’