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Bashir Maan forced to quit charity post over anti-gay stance

BASHIR Maan, the former Glasgow councillor and Muslim community leader, has been forced to resign from an honorary charities post because of a public attack on homosexuality.

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Mr Maan, Scottish chairman of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, was asked to stand down as president of the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations.

The chairwoman of the SCVO's management board, Joan Stringer, wrote to Mr Maan following a letter to The Herald last month in which he deplored the introduction of gay sex education in schools.

As an umbrella group for various charities and pressure groups, the SCVO has gay rights groups in its membership.

Mr Maan wrote his letter in response to an article about Scottish children being "robbed of childhood".

It investigated why 300 babies a year were being born with addiction to heroin, hundreds of girls were falling pregnant in their early teens, and the number of youngsters in drug rehabilitation had trebled.

Mr Maan accused politicians quoted in the article, including First Minister Jack McConnell, of sheer hypocrisy, claiming: "These politicians, through certain elements of sex education in schools, are motivating young innocent children to indulge in premature sex that is resulting in teenage pregnancies."

He went on: "As if that were not enough, gay sex education is also being added to the sex curriculum in schools.

"This will encourage experiments of homosexuality among young children and add to the growing creed of homosexuality."

A spokesman for the SCVO said that the managing board had collectively decided to ask Mr Maan to resign.

Mr Maan had already come under fire from Annie Gunner, a columnist on the newspaper Third Force News.

In an article, she accused him of blaming the problems afflicting children - including teenage pregnancies - on homosexuality, and on politicians for pandering to the gay agenda.

Mr Maan, who will be 80 in October, has been president of SCVO for nearly six years, and he said last night he was going to retire soon.

"This has forced my hand. It is a pity it has to end in these circumstances, " he said.

"I can understand the SCVO's point of view - my views would bring me into conflict with the gay and lesbian organisations in their membership, so perhaps I should have retired before I opened my mouth. I did not intend to demean anyone."

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