UK Cartoons protester found guilty
Umran Javed claimed the chants were "just slogans" A British Muslim has been found guilty of soliciting murder during a London rally against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad. Umran Javed 27, of Birmingham, was also convicted of stirring up racial hatred by a jury at the Old Bailey.
Javed told a crowd of hundreds at the February 2006 protest: "Bomb, bomb Denmark, bomb, bomb USA." He had claimed the chants against the two countries were "just slogans" and that he regretted saying them. Remanding him in custody, Judge Brian Barker said he would not pass sentence until several other trials relating to the protest had concluded - expected to be in April.
The maximum penalty for soliciting murder is life in prison.
He said disbelievers would pay a heavy price and said Denmark would pay with blood
David Perry QCProsecutor
There were disturbances in the public gallery when the verdict was read out, and one man was removed by security staff. The Crown Prosecution Service's Sue Hemming said she was mindful of the rights to free speech when considering cases such as this.
"However, when we examined the content of Mr Javed's speech it was explicit that there was direct encouragement to those present and those watching via the media to commit acts of murder against the Danish and Americans." She said the law was also clear that free speech "should not be misused to insult, abuse or threaten people in such a way that it will stir up racial hatred".
A small rally took place in front of court at the start of Javed's trial The cartoons were originally printed in a Danish newspaper before being reproduced in some European countries, but were never published in the UK.
They caused widespread anger among Muslims and Javed was involved in a large demonstration outside the Danish embassy in London on 3 February 2006.
Prosecutor David Perry QC told the court that Javed was recorded by the police speaking into a loud hailer outside the embassy. He was joined by between 200 and 300 other Muslims who had marched from the central mosque in Regent's Park.
Muslims are demonised and vilified Muslim Anjem Choudary, former spokesman for a banned group
Mr Perry told the Old Bailey that Javed "appeared to be one of the leaders".
"He said disbelievers would pay a heavy price...and said Denmark would pay with blood."
Anjem Choudary, a former spokesman for the now banned Al-Muhajiroun organisation, said Muslims were treated as "second class citizens" and could not get a "fair trial".
He said: "Muslims are demonised and vilified.
"This is a failure of capitalism, of democracy and the freedom of speech."