Saturday, 1 May 2010

British Muslim daubs war memorial Islamic slogans CPS says NOT racially motivated

'Islam will dominate the world  -  Osama is on his way' and 'Kill Gordon Brown' on the plinth of the memorial
A Muslim protester who daubed a war memorial with graffiti glorifying Osama Bin Laden and proclaiming 'Islam will dominate the world' walked free from court after prosecutors ruled his actions were not motivated by religion.

Tohseef Shah, 21, could have faced a tougher sentence if the court had accepted that the insults  -  which included a threat to kill the Prime Minister  -  were inspired by religious hatred.

But  -  citing a loophole in the law  -  the Crown Prosecution Service chose not to charge him with that offence and he escaped with only a two-year conditional discharge and an order to pay the council £500 compensation after admitting causing criminal damage.

Yesterday the decision was attacked by politicians and veterans who were shocked by the desecration of the memorial in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Parliamentary Counter Terrorism sub-committee, said: 'This is an outrage against our war dead.'

Shah sprayed the words 'Islam will dominate the world  -  Osama
is on his way' and 'Kill Gordon Brown' on the plinth of the memorial in December.

He was arrested after his DNA was found on the discarded spray-can but refused to give an explanation for his actions or show any remorse, a court heard.

A file was sent to lawyers at the Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS in London to see if there was a racially or religiously motivated connotation.

However when Shah appeared before magistrates this week, prosecutor Andrew Bodger said: 'It was decided there was not enough evidence to prove this, and they decided it was politically motivated."

Defending, Mumtaz Chaudry said Shah did not hold extremist views. 'This is nothing to do with his religious beliefs, his family's beliefs or his cultural beliefs,' he said. 'He is just an ordinary guy. He is remorseful, but at the time of his interview he was simply answering questions and didn't realise that was the right time to show remorse.'

Local veterans reacted with horror last night. Roy Whenman, 78, who fought in the Korean War, said: 'If what he wrote on the memorial wasn't evidence of racial or religious hatred then what is?

'The memorial commemorates people of my generation who died for our freedom as well as those fighting in wars today.

'It's diabolical that someone could deface it in this way.'

Full story HERE

Previously, Dennis Fletcher, chairman of East Staffordshire Racial Equality Council, said he suspected someone from the far right was responsible.
He said: “I suspect members of the far right have done this to stir things up and there are generally very good inter-cultural relations in East Staffordshire. Graffiti of any type is terrible but when it includes racist material it has to be considered utterly unacceptable.” 
 I wonder what he has to say now he knows it was a muslim and not someone on the 'far right'.

Burton Mail

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