Five Muslim men have gone on trial in the United Kingdom for allegedly handing out leaflets calling for homosexuals to face the death penalty, according to the Guardian.
Razwan Javed, 28, Kabir Ahmed, 28, Ihjaz Ali, 42, Umer Javed, 38, and Mehboob Hussain, 44, were arrested after members of the public complained about their activities.
The men are accused of stirring up hatred due to sexual orientation in the first prosecution of its kind. Laws covering hate crimes were amended in 2010 to include homophobia.
The men deny the charges.
“The leaflets you will see are not educational or simply informative. They are, we suggest, threatening, offensive, frightening and nasty,” said Bobbie Cheema, opening the case for the prosecution.
“The vast majority of Muslim, and indeed other religious people, or people with no religion but who have strong views about homosexuality, are able to express their views if they wish in a critical but lawful, moderate and self-controlled way. That’s one of the rights we have.”
The leaflets were entitled “The Death Penalty?” and said gay people should be given the death penalty because gay sex is a great sin. The leaflets showed an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose. They were produced ahead of a Gay Pride parade in Derby and handed out near a mosque in the city.
The men were only charged for the one leaflet, but it was only one of several that the men where handing out.
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