“INEXPLICABLE ABERRATION”: Cam Lecturer Slates Homosexuality

Divinity Faculty lecturer Tim Winter labels homosexuality an "inexplicable aberration" in a hastily removed YouTube video.

– Last Updated: Thu 2 May 10.21am to include a statement from LGBT+ President, Charlie Bell



An eight-minute clip of Tim Winter, a Cambridge lecturer and a Director of Studies at Wolfson College, has gone viral on Facebook after he referred to homosexuality as an “inexplicable aberration”. 

The clip appears to have been taken from his recent DVD, Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul, in which Winter, a practicing Sufi Muslim, discusses at length the Sharia’s  “emphatic, unqualified condemnation and prohibition of all forms of homosexual behaviour”.

Winter is a Divinity Faculty lecturer and fellow at Wolfson

Winter graduated from Pembroke with a double-first in 1983

Drawing from the Sharia but expressing his own personal opinion, Winter, also known as Abdal Hakim Murad, refers to homosexuality as a “denial of [our] manifest creative purpose”, labelling it the “ultimate inversion”.

He goes on to refer to homosexuals as “ignorant people…[who] don’t understand what their bodies are for”.

He adds, “How ignorant can you get? Even the animals know”.

Have a look at the video, taken down off YouTube but saved by us.  Scratch that it’s been taken down as well.


Winter also refutes the fact that genetics in any way legitimises homosexual behaviour, stating that “the fact that somebody is born with a tendency is no moral argument for the actualising of that tendency”.

Qualifying his argument, the Cambridge supervisor continues with reference to arson. Winter points out that many scientists attribute arson to a “genetic configuration”, but it is still seen as a perversion – and then questions the fact that homosexuality is not.

He goes on: “I do not say that the tendency is a sin, but acting upon – gratifying the tendency – is a sin”.

At one point in the clip, Winter utters in Arabic “aslaHahum Allah” (lit. ‘may God fix or reform them’).

Sidgwick Site's Divinity Faculty - where Winter lectures

Sidgwick Site’s Divinity Faculty, where Winter lectures

Winter goes on to dispute the much-cited Kinsey Reports and their findings, which suggest that around 10% of the US population is homosexual. Winter calls these findings an “absurd estravgance”, labelling Kinsey a “very strange, perverted individual” – possibly a reference to the fact that the late professor was bisexual and polyamourous.

A comparison is also drawn between the act of smoking and homosexuality. Winter argues that homosexuality is worse for one’s health than smoking, even though the latter is perceived as more dangerous and receives coverage in government campaigns.

He also claims that homosexuality “inevitably plays a greater role in sexually transmitted diseases than the more normal promiscuity”.

Commenting on the video, Mr Winter told The Tab, “These are not ‘recent comments’ – I think this clip is from a Q+A I did after a talk in America in the mid-90s, during a fit of youthful zeal. My views and manner of exposition have moved on since then.”

Mr Winter has subsequently had the video taken down.

It should be pointed out that the DVD is still available to buy on islamondemand.com and through iTunes – and that a second video in which he again compares homosexuality to arson, posted below, was recorded in 2011.


In 2006, Winter also published an article in which he wrote that “it is unarguable that homosexual acts are a metaphysical as well as a moral crime”.

"Imam al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul" - iTunes lecture series

“Imam al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul”: iTunes lecture series


“Homosexuality”: Lecture 85

Despite the removal of the latest footage, reaction from the student body has been unmitigated outrage.

Alex Bradley-Stitch, a Law student from Wolfson, told The Tab: “Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions; I have mine and I don’t expect people to like them.

“However, when you take a platform, and YouTube is THE platform now, you have to be mindful of repercussions. Here, Wolfson’s reputation is at risk at, and however brief my time here, that makes me sad and ashamed.”

Winter is a fellow at Wolfson College

Winter is a fellow at Wolfson College

Another student, supervised by Winter earlier this year, commented, “He’s an extremely intellectual man, or at least appears so.”

He continued: “I wrote an essay on gender and the feedback did not seem biased in any way. I would never have had him down as someone who would come out with something like this. I’m very shocked.”

The Tab has approached Wolfson College for comment but as yet has received no response.

It will no doubt be a matter of debate how far Mr Winter’s views are protected by laws guaranteeing freedom of religious expression; the matter is complicated further by the fact that Mr Winter – as a Director of Studies – plays a pastoral role in college life.

UPDATE: Charlie Bell, President of CUSU LGBT+, released a statement this morning:

“Whilst we, like the vast majority of students, absolutely disagree with [Mr Winter’s] views on homosexuality, and indeed the tone in which they are made, he is an academic and the university has a duty to allow freedom of speech in its academical disciplines.

“We know that Mr Winter has asked for the video to be taken down; it remains for his college to decide whether these past remarks are incompatible with his current role in the college, especially if it has a pastoral nature, and we are currently in communication with them over this.

“It is our role to be a campaign open to student views and opinions, and to remind the university that whatever academical views might be expressed, LGBT+ students and staff have the same rights as any others, and should be treated with the same respect and decency as any other member of this university, by every member of this university.

“We encourage any students who do not receive this respect or who otherwise need our support to contact us.”


Wanna write news for The Tab? Get in touch: news(@)cambridgetab.co.uk.

  • Sociopathic Journalist

    I’m going to write an article which includes fascism, communism, homophobia, feminism and lad culture and watch the comments section explode.

  • ### a penis

    doesn’t fit in a penis…

    • My

      penis doesn’t fit anywhere. LAD.

  • Two Birds – One Stone

    Get rid of the entire divinity faculty.

    Hands up anyone who’d notice.

  • Can’t wait

    For my next supervision with this top joker

  • Isn’t all this just a standard issue

    with oldy timey religiousy views? Look on the bright side, most people think gay and bisexual people are equal to heterosexual people :D.

  • Academical?

    A new word for me.

  • Summer

    Don’t listen to this guy… he’s so last season

  • Happy Grad
  • Pingback: Support Abdal Hakim Murad! | Exploring Life, The Universe and Everything()

  • Weird argument

    Glad this guy can tell us what our bodies are ‘for’ – invoking, of course, that standard of objectivity, ‘nature.’ Fairly absurd reasoning for a distinguished academic (though maybe this is more an issue of faith, in which case it should really be more personal than dictatorial). So when we cull all the gays for their inability to fulfill their sole natural function, we should chuck in all those pesky infertile straights, and maybe those aberrations who choose not to reproduce. The planet really needs more humans, after all.

  • The Simultaneous Man
  • Paul Williams

    Great link Simultaneous Man…

  • There’s no such thing as a

    Double First

  • Pingback: Cambridge Muslim Scholar Criticized for Comments on Homosexuality » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog()

  • Just Saying
  • BOB

    Mr winters has expressed his opinion which i am sure that he is entitled to do like we all are.
    Fair enough his so called comments may have offended a few people but don’t we all exercise the same right of freedom of speech .Sometimes we. intentionally or intentionally may offend people that disagree with our opinion.When mr winters has taken from great scholors of the past on certain subjects and translate there meanings and impact on today’s diverse self-opinionated society. ITS bound to change peoples views. But lets not forget Mr winter has and still is and in my opinion will help the UK in matters of faith ,diversity,education and learning. JUST MY OPINION.

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