An Islamic scholar, Muhammad Al-Hussaini, responded to the acquittal of a pastor who was accused of “offensive” speech against Muslims while warning of radicalized jihadists – and who was just acquitted – by defending the pastor’s comments.
He said, the Newslettter.co.uk reported: “Why would Pastor James McConnell be required to trust people that I, as a Muslim academic and clergyman, would not trust?”
McConnell, in a sermon in 2014 in Belfast at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, told his congregation that “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell,” the news outlet reported. He also said much of the Islamic community in Britain furthered “Jew-hating” discrimination that in turn, sparked violence.
He was charged with making “grossly offensive” comments about Muslims, as WND reported. But he was just acquitted. His lawyer, Philip Mateer, said the case focused on the pastor’s claim that he didn’t trust Muslims, but that the European Convention on Human Rights allowed for such views.
But Al-Hussaini suggested in an interview with the News Letter the pastor was wrongly charged.
He acknowledged that whenever Islamic radicals committed atrocities, British Muslim leaders rallied to say “we condemn this completely,” while also insisting “Islam is a religion of peace.”
But the “deeds don’t match the words,” Al-Hussaini said, the News Letter reported.
“Muslim parents are just like everybody else,” he said. “They want their sons not to go off to Syria to fight and become jihadists. They want their sons to grow up and become doctors and lawyers and successful professionals.”
But history teaches, he said. And the current Muslim situation is similar to the prejudice among Germans in the 1930s who didn’t directly support the Nazis, but nevertheless disdained Jews.
“Ordinary British families in the Muslim community [sitting] round the family dinner table, [where] you [would] hear ordinary, everyday, banal, Jew-hating talk or prejudiced comments against other sections of society,” he said. “A minority of cases can lead to people actually taking these things very seriously.”
He then called the pastor’s trial a case of political correctness where “the British establishment, rather than wanting to engage hard questions, is rather keen to pacify and to appease Islamist opinion,” he said, the News Letter reported.