An imam recorded on video making controversial remarks about homosexuality at a Edmonton Islamic school says his comments were taken out of context.

The video posted to YouTube shows Mustafa Khattab, former iman of the Al-Rashid Mosque, telling students at the Edmonton Islamic Academy that being gay is like having diabetes, cancer or AIDS.

In an email statement sent to CBC News Wednesday night, Khattab said he was talking to students last fall during a lunch break, not in a classroom.

He says he was responding to a student’s question about homosexuality and tried to use humour to make a point.

“I agree I might have been unlucky in my choice of words, but I believe the comment was taken out of context and misrepresented,” Khattab wrote.

“Whoever reported the comment failed to mention what I said about gays and lesbians being our brothers and sisters in humanity and they shouldn't be discriminated against — even if we might disagree with what they do.”

Khattab said that the views expressed were his alone and not representative of school policy.

“To characterize me or the Academy as homophobic and to call for the pulling of funding for private schools is really unfortunate,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Alberta Liberals said the Edmonton Islamic Academy is promoting hate and intolerance and called on the province to pull $4 million in funding the school receives each year.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson said his department investigated the comments and was satisfied that the school does not endorse the comments made by Khattab on the video.

Since the video was recorded last fall, Khattab stepped down — for reasons unrelated to his comments — as iman at the Al-Rashid Mosque. He subsequently departed Canada for Egypt.

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  • Tattoos

    Thinking of getting the Superman insignia on your bicep? Leviticus 19:28 states: <blockquote>Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.</blockquote>

  • Rounded Haircuts

    Off to the barber? Leviticus 19:27 states: <blockquote>Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.</blockquote>

  • Men With Injured Or Cut Off Private Parts Entering Houses Of God

    It's bad enough if you're a man who has had his private parts injured -- or heaven forbid cut off -- but to add insult to injury, Deuteronomy 23:1 states: <blockquote>He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.</blockquote>

  • Consulting Psychics

    Have you ever had your palm read? Or maybe you've consulted your horoscope for a little guidance? Leviticus 19:31 reads: <blockquote>Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.</blockquote> Photo by zopdeep on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcpucho/318112432/sizes/m/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>

  • Gossiping

    Heard some juicy news about Harold in the accounting department? Can't wait to tell your BFF that you just read that Snooki is pregnant? Leviticus 19:16 states: <blockquote>Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.</blockquote> Photo by JoeInSouthernCA on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/4744688383/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>

  • Wives Helping Out Their Husbands In A Fight

    Gentlemen -- if you ever get in a fight and you get the feeling your lady might jump in and lend you a hand by squeezing your opponent's... ahem... "secrets," you'd better stop her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 states: <blockquote>When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.</blockquote>

  • Children Cursing Their Parents

    Kids these days -- you never know what's going to come out of their mouths! But hopefully your child doesn't curse you because Exodus 21:17 states: <blockquote>"And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."</blockquote>

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    When it comes to the Bible, this is a big no-no (unless your spouse was cheating on you): Mark 10:11-12 states: <blockquote>Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.</blockquote>

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  • Women Speaking In Houses Of God

    Headed to church, ladies? 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 states: <blockquote>Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.</blockquote>

  • Eating Shrimp, Lobster, And Other Assorted Seafood

    Craving a big bowl of popcorn shrimp? Leviticus 10-11 states: <blockquote>And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.</blockquote> Photo by jeffreyw on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/5833838507/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>

  • Losing Your Virginity Before You Get Married

    Today it might be harder to find a bride who is a virgin rather than the other way around. But Deuteronomy 22:20-21 states: <blockquote>But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you</blockquote>