A controversial Islamic scholar who preaches for homosexuals to be “executed” allegedly gave sermons in Orlando weeks before the gay nightclub massacre and is now in Sydney.
According to Fusion, Dr Farrokh Sekaleshfar is a British-born Shi’a Muslim scholar who lives in Qum, Iran and allegedly gave a sermon to Muslims about what to do to homosexuals in Orlando two weeks before the deadly massacre took place.
In a presentation by the Students for Academic Awareness group that took place at the University of Michigan in 2013, Sekaleshfar addressed the topic of homosexuality claiming that their punishment should be “death.”
Portions of this university sermon were recorded by ‘’ ABC 9’S WFTV’’ and have since been re-uploaded to YouTube by Islamophobic group, The United West.
In the videos, the controversial preacher says that the only way to deal with the “phenomenon of homosexuality" was to “get rid of them” and to do so out of “compassion.”
“Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence,” Sekaleshfar says.
“We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”
Throughout the sermon, Sekaleshfar also states that homosexuals can be forgiven and says that “executions” should only take place in countries where Islamic law exists.
On March 29, 2016, Sekaleshfar reportedly spoke at the Husseini Islamic Centre located about 32 kilometres south of where the Orlando massacre took place.
According to ‘’Fusion News’’, Sekaleshfar addressed homosexuality during his March sermons in Orlando and said similar things to his comments made in the 2013 video.
Sekaleshfar is now in Australia on a speaking tour and arrived on June 7.
The controversial preacher is speaking for one month at their Earlwood centre located in Sydney's south-west, according to the Imam Husain Islamic Centre’s Facebook page.
“His Eminence Sheikh Dr Farrokh Sekaleshfar. Speaking the entire month of the topic of: Stories of the Quran and testaments of the Mystics,” the poster reads.
Sekaleshfar has since released two statements to Facebook saying he has been receiving death threats and disturbing messages in relation to the video.
"The speech was presented as an academic exercise - not a personal opinion, verdict or in support of violence," he wrote in the first statement.
"Such academic settings from the outset, by their very nature, are distant and mutually exclusive to those that incite hatred."
In the second statement posted to Facebook today, Sekaleshfar sends his condolences to the Orlando tragedy.
"I am saddened and disturbed by this act of brutal violence against innocent people," he wrote.
"The perpetrator of this shooting has directly violated this holy commandment and displayed a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life and divine values."
Sekaleshfar goes on to speak about "a slanderous news story" that "misrepresents" his statements and "beliefs".
"Such a connection is impossible, because had the shooter listened to my lecture, he would have clearly heard me condemn hate and violence multiple times and endorse compassion towards all humankind" he wrote.
Yahoo7 have since tried to contact Sekaleshfar in regard to these allegations are awaiting a reply.
On Sunday, Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire inside popular gay bar Pulse in Orlando, Florida, and was shot on the scene after police stormed the building.
The massacre is deemed to be the he deadliest mass shooting in US history and Mateen was 'upset when he saw men kissing' and called 911 to pledge allegiance to IS before killing 50 people.
Police are now investigating whether Muslim American Mateen, Afghan descent, had a terrorist motive.