01 November 2016

Muslim lawyer slams Louis Smith's two-month ban from gymnastics for leaked video of him mocking Islam

Louis Smith's two-month ban from gymnastics for appearing to mock Islam risks fuelling religious hate, according to a leading Muslim lawyer.

Smith, a four-time Olympic medallist, became the first British gymnast to be banned from the sport after he was shown on a video laughing while fellow gymnast Luke Carson mimics the Islamic call to prayer.

The 27-year-old apologised for causing offence and even skipped the Team GB homecoming parade to visit two London mosques to learn more about Islam instead.

But British Gymnastics chiefs took a dim view of his actions and banned him for two months, although Smith was not planning to compete for the rest of the year anyway.

Carson was given a reprimand but is still able to coach.

‘Forgiveness is always preferred when a person has expressed remorse as Louis has,’ said Qasim Rashid, a lawyer and Islamic Studies fellow at Harvard University. [Daily Mail] Read more