Fahad Qureshi, who founded Islam Net and is considered an Islamic leader in Norway, told a large group of Sunni Muslims that, contrary to media claims that it is only “radicals” and “extremists” who support barbaric punishments for those who violate sharia, regular Muslims support such things, including the “death penalty for homosexuals” and “stoning for adultery.”
"Every now and then, every time we have a conference, every time we invite a speaker, they [the media] always come with the same accusations: This speaker supports the death penalty for homosexuals, this speaker supports the death penalty for this crime or this crime or that he is homophobic, that he subjugates women, etcetera,” said Qureshi in a video posted by the Middle East Memory Research Institute (MEMRI).
"We always try to tell them,” he continued, “I always try to tell them that it is not that speaker that we are inviting who has these 'extreme radical views,' as you say. These are general views that every Muslim actually has.”
“Every Muslim believes in these things,” said Qureshi at the Nov. 7, 2013 conference. “Just because they are not telling you about it, or just because they are not out there in the media, doesn't mean that they don't believe in them.”
Qureshi then asked the attendees to raise their hands if they agreed with certain points about Islam and the Quran.
"I will ask you, everyone in the room: How many of you are normal Muslims – you’re not extremists, you’re not radical – just normal Sunni Muslims?” he said. “Please, raise your hands. Everybody [raised their hands], with the grace of God. Okay, take down your hands.”
"How many of you agree that men and women should sit separate?” said Qureshi. “Please raise your hands. Everyone agrees, everyone agrees, brothers as well as sisters. So it's not just these 'radical' sheiks, then?"
He then said, "How many of you agree that the punishments described in the Koran and the Sunna – whether it is death, whether it is stoning for adultery, whatever it is -- if it is from Allah and His Messenger, that is the best punishment ever possible for humankind, and that is what we should apply in the world. Who agrees with that?”
The crowd then raised their hands.
"Allahu Akbar,” said Qureshi, adding, “Are you all radical extremists? So all of you are saying that you are common Muslims, you all go to different mosques in Norway. Or are you a specific sect, like the Islam Net sect, or anything like that? Are you like that? No. Are you like that? Please raise your hand if you are like that extreme Islam, that sect, or anything like that? No one, Allah Akbar.”
To emphasize his view that the points raised about punishment under Islam were held by Muslims in general and not just “radical extremists,” Fahed Qureshi then said, "How many of you go to the normal Sunni mosques in Norway? Please raise your hands. Allahu Akbar. What are the politicians going to say now? What is the media going to say now? That we are all extremists? That we are all radicals? That we need to deport all of us from this country?"
On the top of his Facebook page, Fared Qureshi says, “I love Muhammed, not Charlie!” in reference to the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which frequently mocked Muhammed and Islam, among other religions.
Islamic terrorists attacked the Charlie Hebdo editorial offices on Jan. 7, killing 12 people, including three police officers.
Qureshi and Islam Net are among the sponsors of the Peace Conference Scandinavia 2015, which takes place March 28-30.