Friday, January 20, 2006

Abu Hamza’s offensive speech straight from the Koran.

UK: If this defense works, there is no hope in the British Justice system.

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was “simplistic in the extreme”. He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.” Mr Fitzgerald cited two verses of the book that Abu Hamza would rely on, among many others, as theological justification for the words that had led to him being charged. They were Chapter 2, verse 216 and Chapter 9, verse 111. He said that all the great monotheistic religions had scriptures that contained “the language of blood and retribution”. Abu Hamza’s remarks, which the prosecution alleges amount to an attempt to stir up racial hatred against the Jewish people, were, Mr Fitzgerald said, a reference to the Hadith — sayings of the Prophet Muhammad — in which fighting between Jews and Muslims is predicted. The Hadith says that the trees will call out to the Muslims “there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him”. The defence counsel said this was “a highly unusual case” because unlike most prosecutions for incitement to murder it did not involve someone telling a specific person to kill an identifiable individual. Abu Hamza’s sermons had to be viewed in context, coinciding with conflicts in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Palestinian territories. Mr Fitzgerald said that the West had initially been on the side of the Mujahidin in Afghanistan when they were fighting the Soviet Union army. There had even been a James Bond film, The Living Daylights, in which 007 fought alongside the Mujahidin. He added: “Mr Hamza has said things that most people will find deeply offensive and hateful. But he is not on trial for describing England as a toilet. There is no crime of simply being offensive.”

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