Vanderbilt University last night moved to distance itself from the controversy over a statement made by its Muslim chaplain last week at a campus event.

At a forum entitled “Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military” on Jan. 25, Chaplain Awadh A. Binhazim responded to a question from student Devin Saucier, vice president of the V.U. chapter of conservative group Youth for Western Civilization, by saying he would have to “go with what Islam teaches” regarding the imposition of capital punishment on practicing homosexuals.

Several Islamic countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, are known to have put people to death for homosexual activity.

After accounts of the event and YouTube footage of Binhazim’s comment led to widespread criticism on both conservative and gay-oriented blogs, the university put out a statement Monday evening noting that the event was part of its “Project Dialogue,” a series meant to bring “diverse viewpoints” to campus.

Luckily, he was Muslim, not Baptist, so it won’t be a big national scandal.