A British-born Islamic cleric visiting Sydney on a speaking tour has left the country after the government ordered an urgent review of his visa.

Sheik Farrokh Sekaleshfar was reportedly quoted as describing death as an appropriate sentence for homosexuality three years ago at the University of Michigan.

The comment has been linked to the recent gay nightclub massacre in Orlando – a claim the cleric strenuously denies.

The Sheik said his comments were made in an academic setting, and he regretted they were filmed and published online.

He said he advocated the death penalty for homosexuals who have sex in public, in a country that abides by Islamic law.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said while the Sheik had a valid visa, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had initiated a review.

Speaking earlier in North Queensland, Mr Dutton said the government did not welcome people who preached hate.

“We are not going to have people who are preaching hate in our country. We are not going to tolerate the presence of people who are committing serious crimes against Australian people,” he said.

“I’ve cancelled a number of visas over the course of the last 12 months and I’m reviewing this particular case.”

In an interview with the ABC, Sheik Farrokh Sekaleshfar expressed his sympathies to the families of those who died in the Orlando massacre.

He denied ever having a connection to the gunman, Omar Mateen, and said there was no way his speech three years ago would have motivated the 29-year-old.


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