This is cute. Just as the cartoon controversy is being portrayed as evidence of Western values of “free speech” versus inherent Islamic intolerance, comes the conviction of Shiekh Abu Hamza al-Masri in Britain—on charges of, basically, expressing his opinions publicly. That he holds some pretty awful opinions is beside the point. The jihad fan club in the blogosphere will have a field day revelling in this irresistibly ironic display of Western hypocrisy, as Jihad Unspun does in the below blurb. Note that the Sheikh was acquitted of the charges which actually sound vaguely legitimate, “solicitation to murder” and “threatening behavior.”
Selective Free Speech: Abu Hamza al-Masri Found Guilty On Charges Of Inciting Murder
Feb 08, 2006
JUS News Desk, Agencies
Shiekh Abu Hamza al-Masri has been found guilty of inciting followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims and stirring racial hatred. Also wanted in the United States on charges that he tried to establish a terrorist camp in Oregon and conspired with kidnappers in Yemen, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. U.S. authorities are seeking his extradition.
Al-Masri was followed, recorded and filmed for years by police assigned to track Islamists, but he was not charged with a crime in Britain until five months after the U.S. indictment was announced in May 2004. When the charges did come, they focused on his speeches and sermons over the years at the mosque and its meeting rooms and on materials seized at his home in West London.
A jury found al-Masri guilty of 11 charges including six of solicitation to murder, three of using threatening words and behavior with intent to foment racial hatred, one of possessing audiotapes intended to stir up racial hatred and one of possessing an “Encyclopedia of Afghani Jihad,” which prosecutors described as a terrorist manual dedicated to bin Laden. One chapter listed likely terrorist targets such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben in London. The Sheikh was found not guilty of four charges: three of solicitation to murder and one of threatening behavior. (JUS)