'Death penalty for gays' – five accused over leaflet campaign
Muslim men first to face trial under new hate laws for handing out anti-gay flyers near Derby mosque
A group of Muslim men handed out leaflets after Friday prayers at a Derby mosque demanding the death penalty for homosexuality, a court as heard.
Derby Crown Court was told that Ihjaz Ali, 42, Mehboob Hussain, 45, brothers Umar Javed, 38, and Razwan Javed, 27, and Kabir Ahmed, 28, distributed literature depicting a mannequin hanging from a noose and denouncing sexual acts between gay couples as a sin.
All five deny stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, in the first prosecution of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010.
The jury was yesterday warned not to treat the case as one of the right to religious freedom of expression but as a deliberate attempt to incite hostility.
Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema exhibited three leaflets some containing excerpts from the Koran, which she said were "threatening, offensive, frightening and nasty". The first, "The Death Penalty?", suggested three ways to murder homosexuals. It was handed out in July last year around the Jamia Mosque in Derby in the run up to a Gay Pride march.
A second, "Turn or Burn", which had earlier been put through neighbourhood letterboxes, depicted images of a burning lake of fire and an image of Hell. A third, also delivered to homes, used the word "GAY" – used as an acronym for God Abhors You.
In evidence one man who received the "Turn or Burn" leaflet said it made him feel as if he might be attacked in his own home because he was gay. Another said he feared his house would be firebombed.
The court heard that Mr Ali had been warned about using offensive language by police after planning a counter protest to the Pride march. He showed officers – already investigating the leaflets after public complaints – slogans intended for use on placards. These included: "Stay gay and you will pay" and "Adam and Eve, not Steve".
Mr Ahmed told police the views expressed an Islamic perspective on homosexuality and it was his duty as a Muslim to condemn the practice, the court heard. Razwan Javed had also admitted distributing the leaflets but said it was only to raise awareness not to frighten or threaten anyone.
The trial continues.
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat