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Extremism

Germany expels openly homophobic imam

Authorities in Germany have ordered the expulsion of a visiting Islamic preacher who argues that homosexuals should be condemned to death. The move comes after Bilal Philips gave an open-air address in Frankfurt.

Two women embrace in front of lit candles

Philips has said gays should face the death penalty

German police officials announced on Wednesday that Abu Ameena Bilal Philips, a hardline Islamic preacher from Jamaica who defends use of the death penalty for homosexuality, had been ordered to leave the country and asked never to return.

The officials said that immigration authorities had issued an order - prior to Philips' address to some 2,000 spectators in Frankfurt - instructing the 60-year-old Islam convert to leave Germany within three days, claiming his professed beliefs infringed on federal laws.

German law allows for the expulsion of visitors who "incite hatred against parts of the population" or advocate the use of violence against them. In a sermon published on the video website, Youtube, Philips can be heard defending the death penalty as a justified punishment for proven homosexual acts.

'Evil and dangerous to society'

Witnesses said no remarks regarding homosexuality were made in the Wednesday address and that its tone was not inflammatory.

Abu Ameena Bilal Philips

Philips made no anti-gay remarks on Wednesday

He was invited to address the Frankfurt demonstration in defense of "Islam, the Misunderstood Religion" by Pierre Vogel, a German-born convert to Islam who authorities say harbors fundamentalist views that are closely linked to Islamism - the belief that Islam must prevail over political life.

An article on Philip's official website describes homosexuality - in reference to its connection with the proliferation of AIDS - as explicitly "evil and dangerous to society," concluding that it is the product of wayward volition.

Philips is entitled to appeal the expulsion order, according to police officials, but only from abroad. An arrest warrant is ready in case he does not leave Germany before the expulsion deadline.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AFP, dpa)

Editor: Nancy Isenson

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