5 Angry Men

Men Handing Out Death-To-Gays Pamphlets On Trial In First-Of-Its-Kind Case In UK

Five men on trial for handing out hateful anti-gay leaflets are making legal history, as their case marks the first time that distributing inflammatory materials against gays has been prosecuted as a hate crime in the UK.

Legislation was passed in Parliament in 2010 that amended the 1986 Public Order Act to include materials used to stir up hatred based on sexual orientation.

The defendants have an awfully interesting defense, according to the BBC.

Ihjaz Ali, 42, Mehboob Hussain, 45, Umar Javed, 38, Razwan Javed, 27, and Kabir Ahmen, 28,  tell the court they don’t regret circulating the material, which advocated that homosexuals be given the death penalty. They just meant to “raise awareness” of the dangers of being gay—and they resent the British government for not appreciating their campaign.

The men, all Muslim, produced leaflets with titles like Turn or Burn and God Abhors You, bearing images of men hanging from nooses and lakes of fire.

They were distributed outside a mosque in Derby, England and put in people’s mailboxes in July 2010, when an gay Pride parade was scheduled for the town.

Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told the jury:

These five defendants were part of a small group of men who distributed horrible, threatening literature, with quotations from religious sources and with pictures on them, which were designed to stir up hatred and hostility against homosexual people.”

You will have to assess quite how much Mr Ali wanted to carry out a lawful and legal protest and quite how much of what he wanted was a shield he could hide behind from the consequences of what he really hoped to achieve.”

While such actions are repugnant, should they be made illegal here in in the U.S or is it more important to protect and strengthen the First Amendment? Share your (non-inciting) view in the comments.

Photos: BBC, Russ Hamer

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  • Erich

    If they feel that way, they should move to a country that has the same viewpoint.
    Life would be better for everyone.

  • MEJ

    This will happen more often, as Muslims slowly, but surely, take over every country they move to.

  • Jim

    Over here, I think it would depend on whether they were calling on people to kill gays or advocating for a public policy position (changing the law). If it’s the former, it’s not protected speech. If it’s the latter, while abhorrent, it is protected.

  • christopher di spirito

    All are Muslims. Interesting. When will it become acceptable to admit the truth about Islam and gays? In Muslim nations who practice Sharia Law, gays are summarily executed by hanging, stoning and shooting. Islam is not a religion of love and tolerance. Sorry, but that dog don’t bark.

  • iDavid

    The Courts have ruled over time that most, but not all, speech is protected by the Court system. The unprotected forms of speech are generally

    sedition (presenting a clear threat to overthrow the government), obscenity (mostly just hard-core or child porn) “fighting words,” (those which incite a hostile reaction) defamation (slander or libel against a public figure), some commercial speech (what businesses advertise, etc)

    I think maybe we could head that way but none too soon. SCOUTS has over the years protected just about all speech. I will surely have my eye on this case. Like Canada, I would like to see laws instituted to cover hate speech against minorities.

    However, once this gay marriage war is over, it may not be necessary. What the heck is left out there. But then, I’m sure church hate will find something. Religion is the single most vile enemy of mankind.

    (taken from RioSalado Online, POS222 American Constitution)

  • Fagburn

    There is a book widely on sale in the UK that says all gay men should be killed… the Bible.

  • MEJ

    Glad to see the editors of Queerty of protecting the religion of peace, by removing my comment. Even when Muslims are bigoted towards gays, your white liberal guilt keeps you at their feet.

  • Triple S

    My viewpoint is that, like what David Cameron organised, do NOT associate with any country that insists on murdering or otherwise disproportionately punishes/abuses people who can’t change being gay. Why the UN and several independently acting countries insist on throwing money and helping these places I don’t know. Legitimate refugees are allowed out, but their dysfunctional governments should not get any material that helps them extend their rule or influence. Now this is all very unlikely to happen, but if not this, then there will not be any change. And as much as people might say that “Oh, all cultures are equal”, I can very much assure with plenty of experience, that most cultures are CRAP. The only culture that really, truly works on a long term basis is the Western culture, specifically the one that stemmed from Great Britain.

    Don’t believe me? America came from England, Ireland and Scotland (along with many others including the French), Australia was mostly English, Irish, Welsh and a smaller population of again, Scottish.
    A general after WWII (can’t remember his name, it might’ve been MacArthur, but I don’t know) wrote Japan’s basic rules in government.
    India has only been propelled into the international stage (as opposed to falling prey to the surrounding Middle-Eastern countries) because of the English presence (not to say the Indians didn’t try, I’m sure a lot of their success is derived from them).

    But as always, Islam strikes again. Funny how a religion with a lovely sounding Quran actually has the most dangerous and cruel people in it (well, Africa isn’t far behind).
    Now I’m only sixteen and a half, but I don’t think it needs a goddamn fifty year old who’s done decades of the profession to get what I’m saying. Any misunderstandings or qualms about what I’ve said, please share!

  • Triple S

    That general was American, just to let you know

  • Phantom

    Some people use religion to justify on their methods to hurt or kill anyone who threatens their belief and culture. That is what I call paranoia. Not all people who follow religon are lunatics, there are lunatics everywhere no matter what race, belief, or country they are from, they are just everywhere. It is sad and I hope those idiots didn’t hurt the gays over there.

  • CrossC

    Triple S, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Russia, China
    Argentina, Mexico, Indonesia and the list goes on want a word with you about your claims
    of English governmental superiority, Your 16 year oldness is showing a little – but the idea
    that aid should not be received by countries who do not have a sound human rights
    record is entirely reasonable – I do think fair steps will be taken towards this, some
    have already, unfortunately gay issues rarely feature top of the agenda.

    I think the UN has more to do in the world than protect gay people, and it is overwhelmingly a force for good in the world to quote Paddy Ashdown, “if the UN didn’t exist we have to invent it”. Its an important part of the development seen in many states over the last 30 years.

    Generally, as far as the UK’s freedom of speech laws go, you can criticize and complain
    about whomever you like, as long as you don’t directly incite violence, and I think
    that is a pretty good place to draw the line.

    Its also the place the line is drawn by European Law which the UK is obliged to adhere to . So unless they did incite violence, any conviction could be appealed to EU human rights courts I would think.

  • Triple S

    @Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva: Yes. And healthy debate hinges on everyone saying that the opposition is stupid. Right. I did actually say in the last line that I was up for correction. Please refrain from calling me stupid.

  • Triple S

    @CrossC: I understand where you’re coming from, but I did say it was Western culture that was the superior one. I said specifically the one from Great Britain, yes, but I have no doubt in my mind that almost ALL of Europe would be just as equal. Also, South-East Asia is raising in its quality of life, it’s got a way to go, but I’m only saying that European influence has had the best influence on the world. A hard thing for many to take, I know, but it is really clear. As I said before, European influence has done more for the advancement of humanity than any other culture. Sure, Asia and the rest of the world have contributed wonderfully, but Western civilisation has done the most.

    And of course the UN has more on its plate than gays, but I would say from what I’ve seen on news and on the Internet, it’s mostly just countries bitching about things they need not bitch about. The UN is a nice idea, but the more it tries to satisfy everyone, the harder and more unlikely it will become.

    And I could only be inciting violence if I was attacking on a more specific level, saying that the Middle-East and Africa overall are not-very-nice places to be is not only demure, it’s bloody true! If people are going to have huge crises over something like this, then they need to calm down.

    (This is to everyone now) If any nationals from anywhere else other than Great Britain or don’t have heritage from Great Britain read this; I sincerely do not think any less of you, every culture has the potential to be as great as many people say they are, and I only speak of the culture of the individual countries as an average behaviour and certainly not something I think all nationals would act like. So, I suppose I’m saying I apologise if anyone is offended.

    Finally, to make sure I’m not called stupid again or get told off for something, just say so and tell me where I’m wrong and please back up any arguments you may have. Here’s to a mature conversation!

  • Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva

    @Triple S: Huh. Didn’t see the part about your age. You might actually be kind of smart, if that’s how old you are.

    My bad.

  • Triple S

    @Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva: How gracious of you, most people I know usually just storm off in a huff. Yes, rest assured I am indeed sixteen and a half, I will be seventeen in June. And thankyou for the compliment of my intelligence. This is the way debates should go, not bloody stereotypical teenager crap where it’s a contest about their bloody virility.

  • Mike UK

    it’s a no win situation, if they get convicted the race and religion card get produced and if they don’t get convicted the race and religion card gets produced giving the green light for more of this crap to be produced and handed out.

    we are to bloody soft in this country, it’s about time that it was put down that if you want to live in this country you abide by the rules and laws of the land that are made in parliament and not the rules of your religion.


    @Triple S: It is REALLY refreshing to read commentary that is well-stated, articulate, and a little thought provoking from someone in your age group. Yes, I would love 2 read more comments from you and 2 have healthy, mature debates in the future. Cheers, mate!

  • Triple S

    @TASTEY GOODIES: Thankyou! I know teens my age are basically two year olds in almost adult bodies (especially guys; I can’t find a real man around here!), but I try my darndest to make sure that I am the exception. All the guys do around me is bitch and moan about how they “don’t like school” or “I don’t like that teacher”.
    Oh yeah, that’s what they do: act like girls. Not to say ALL girls are like that; I don’t want to single out or generalise.

  • james_from_cambridge

    @christopher di spirito: I agree but let’s not let our Christians here in the U.S. off the hook; they’re just as crazy as the Muslims (who are almost nonexistent as a group in the U.S. but are 50 million strong in Europe, and where many, especially the youth, have become radicalized and are agitating for a Muslim Continent.) If our Constitution didn’t prohibit Evangelical Christians from imposing a Christian form of Sharia on us, they would. In fact, If the day ever comes when we have a serious crisis in this country, I believe they will attempt to impose a theocracy by force anyway (there is a scary amount of Evangelicals in our military, and our military has in the past, and will no doubt continue in the future, to engage in “false flag” operations like the one that Lyndon Johnson used to escalate the Vietnam war. If the Evangelicals manage to scare just enough Americans by faking a large-scale attack on our homeland, larger than 9/11, you can kiss our already frayed freedoms goodbye. I mean, look how both the Bush and Obama administrations have managed to essentially neutralize Habeas Corpus with hardly a peep from us or our courts, all because so many Americans are still so paranoid about terrorism, ten years after 9/11!) The presence of Christian loons throughout our military and our body politic is a scary fact that we should all be very aware of, because ALL fundamentalists are dangerous to democracies.

  • Chad

    If someone were handing out “DEATH-TO-MUSLIMS, the dangers of Islam” pamplets it would be a totaly different story.

  • Torchwood

    @Triple S Arrogant to say it stemmed from the UK. The Scandinavian countries, France, Spain and most countries in Europe (except the East) are very functional democracies. Its because they are secular countries, the UK technically has the Church of England but besides that laws are not based on religion like they are in Saudi Arabia.
    Recently an Australian man was given 500 lashed in Saudi Arabia for “blasphemy”. We really need to reduce our dependency on Middle Eastern oil.

  • Triple S

    @Torchwood: I didn’t mean to come across as arrogant; I can’t abide arrogance. So if I did, I apologise and thankyou for telling me! I’ll be careful to phrase it more politically correct. But I do think that people need to assert an argument, and that can’t be done with pleasing everyone. I understand your issue, but debates are never going to have both sides loving each other after they’re done.

  • Triple S

    @Torchwood: Also, it’s interesting that you an Aus. man was put under that treatment there; how could they do that legally? Wouldn’t our government (I’m also Aus.) say that that was just not legal? I thought you had to be a citizen or something to be punished to that extreme. I know you can be punished under other country’s laws and that’s fine, but 500 lashes seems exceedingly overdriven to simply allow. I’m not doubting you, but it’s just a little odd and mostly unfair.

  • Triple S

    @Torchwood: Also, it’s interesting that you said an Aus. man was put under that treatment there; how could they do that legally? Wouldn’t our government (I’m also Aus.) say that that was just not legal? I thought you had to be a citizen or something to be punished to that extreme. I know you can be punished under other country’s laws and that’s fine, but 500 lashes seems exceedingly overdriven to simply allow. I’m not doubting you, but it’s just a little odd and mostly unfair.

  • Robert in NYC

    If they don’t like or respect the laws of the country in which they are living, they are free to leave. Nobody is forcing them to stay there, be they native born or not. British citizens or any other people from western countries would not be able to get away with that kind of thing if they happened to be in an islamic country all of which don’t have freedom of speech by any stretch of the imagination. The majority of British muslims have assimilated very well in the UK. If this small minority of them don’t like the British way of life (western values), then go live in the middle or far east, simple as that.

  • B

    No. 24 · Triple S : “@Torchwood: Also, it’s interesting that you said an Aus. man was put under that treatment there; how could they do that legally? Wouldn’t our government (I’m also Aus.) say that that was just not legal?”

    Your government can say whatever it likes and Saudi Arabia can simply ignore it. It’s a sovereign country and if they really want to give some guy 500 lashes for blasphemy, there’s no way of stopping them other than starting a war over it, A war over that isn’t going to happen, if only because they are sitting on top of our oil supply and a war would shut the oil off.

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