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Friday, 7 May 2010

Tohseef Shah defaces a War Memorial, Harry Taylor leaves Cartoons in a Prayer Room: Who receives the harshest Sentence?

The following article taken from the National Secular Society website highlights the absurdity of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006. On the one hand, we have the example of the hate-filled Muslim Tohseef Shah who defaces one of our war memorials with militant Islamist sloganeering who is deemed to have lacked a ‘religious motivation’ for his crime, whilst Englishman Harry Taylor is prosecuted for leaving cartoons in a prayer room. One law for them, and another for us, even under our own legal system! Another report on the Harry Taylor case can be accessed in the Liverpool Echo in which the details of the sentence differ somewhat from the National Secular Society report, stating that 'Judge James suspended a six-month sentence for two years, but he warned Taylor: “I don't give people a second chance.”'

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.

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