BRITAIN: Guilty Verdicts For Three Men Charged With Stirring Anti-Gay Hatred
After distributing leaflets calling for the execution of homosexuals, three Muslim men have just been found guilty in the first-ever trial under Britain's revised Public Order Act, which now outlaws inciting anti-gay hatred and violence.
Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed handed out the pamphlet, called The Death Penalty?, which showed an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose and quoted Islamic texts that said capital punishment was the only way to rid society of homosexuality. They were convicted at Derby Crown Court of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. It is the first prosecution of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010. Mehboob Hussain and Umar Javed, who were also charged with the same offence, were found not guilty by the jury. The leaflets were given to people outside a mosque and posted through letterboxes in the Normanton area of the city. The men admitted distributing the flyers but claimed they weren't "threatening" and denied they were designed to cause trouble for homosexuals.One of the men charged told the court that is was his "duty as a Muslim to spread what God says about homosexuality. The references on the leaflets are historical facts and quote from the Koran." Those convicted face a sentence of up to seven years in prison and an "unlimited fine."