'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.

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Getty
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor