Four Muslim men have been jailed for their part in protests at the Danish embassy in London, against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.
Mizanur Rahman, 24, Umran Javed, 27, and Abdul Muhid, 24, were each jailed for six years for soliciting to murder after telling a crowd to bomb the UK.
A fourth man, Abdul Saleem, 32, was jailed for four years for stirring up racial hatred at the protest in 2006. The men, from London and Birmingham, were convicted at the Old Bailey. Judge Brian Barker said their words had been designed to encourage murder and terrorism.
About 300 protestors marched outside the Danish embassy in February last year after cartoons satirising Muhammad were published in newspapers in Denmark and other European countries. Outside the sentencing hearing, a group of around 40 demonstrators waved placards with slogans including “Muslims Under Siege”.
Rahman, from Palmers Green, north London, was filmed at the rally talking over a loudspeaker and calling for UK soldiers to be brought back from Iraq in body bags. He said: “We want to see their blood running in the streets of Baghdad. “We want to see the Mujahideen shoot down their planes the way we shoot down birds. We want to see their tanks burn in the way we burn their flags.”
Father-of-five and BT engineer Saleem was cleared of soliciting murder at his trial in February, but convicted of stirring up racial hatred. Saleem, from Poplar, east London, chanted, “7/7 on its way” and “Europe, you will pay with your blood”. Finally, Abdul Muhid, 24, said to be the leader of the demonstration, chanted “Bomb, bomb the UK” and waved placards with slogans such as “Annihilate those who insult Islam”.
The men had denied having extremist views and said they were simply following others rather than leading the protests.
‘Stepped over line’
After the case, Ch Supt Ian Thomas, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We have a long history of facilitating lawful demonstration, taking into account freedom of speech. “However, these people stepped over that line and broke the law.” The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, said: “Terrorism attacks our way of life and incitement can make a very real contribution to it.
“We shall continue to take incitement very seriously and prosecute it robustly where there is enough evidence for us to do so.”