One law for Tohseef Shah and another for Harry Taylor
A Muslim man who daubed a war memorial with an incitement to kill Gordon Brown and with the message "Islam will dominate the world" was cleared of a religiously aggravated offence, because the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no religious motivation in the crime.
Instead, Tohseef Shah, 21, was given a two year conditional discharge and an order to pay the local council £500 compensation.
Three weeks ago, Harry Taylor was given a two year prison sentence for pinning a few innocuous cartoons on to the wall of a "prayer room" at Liverpool John Lennon Airport because the offence was deemed to be religiously aggravated. He was also given an ASBO which forbids him carrying with him religiously provocative material.
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 Burton-on-Trent 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. Despite the fact that it specifically cited Islam, the CPS said that it did not. The CPS said Shah's offence could not be charged as a hate crime because the law requires that damage must target a particular religious or racial group.