SLAP ON THE WRIST

The Punishment For Putting Islamic Anti-Gay Stickers In London? $328

18-year-old Mohammed Hasnath decorated London’s East End with pretty stickers with a no-rainbow flag sign and the words ‘Arise and warn and fear Allah. Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment.” His punishment? A $328 fine, the approximate price of a very fancy blender. Justice is served?

Apparently, the Crown Prosecution Service charged Hasnath under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, the same section used to prosecute people who repeatedly swear in the street. They didn’t charge him with the much more serious offense of inciting homophobic hatred, something that would have undoubtedly been used against him had he posted stickers saying, “Jew Free Zone” or “Muslim Free Zone.” Why did the CPS water down the charges against him? And what of the sticker manufacturer? Hmmm…

A silver-lining to this horrid little story though: the East End citizens really banded together against the stickers, collectively removing them and replacing them with declarations of love. Some citizens even marched in the streets in defiance of the stickers’ homophobia.