By Elham Asaad Buaras
A Muslim solicitor representing religious hate crime offender has criticised the media and politicians for “inflaming” hostility towards Muslims after the murder soldier Lee Rigby.
Afghan-born Ghaff Khan strongly slammed the use of words like ‘Islamists’ and ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ and claimed that people’s origins were left unaddressed when “other heinous crimes” were committed by non-Muslims.
He launched his scathing attack during a court case in Grimsby magistrates which featured mentions of the Grimsby mosque at the centre of an arson attack and references to the English Defence League (EDL).
Christopher Rodger, 25, of Lime Street, Grimsby, admitted using religiously aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour on June 8.
Khan told Grimsby magistrates: “I personally think that the media and politicians of all parties do inflame the situation by using words such as ‘Islamists’ and ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ when there is a person of that persuasion involved.”
He said that Muslims were “peace-loving, God-fearing people” who abide by the law of the lands in whichever country they lived in.
Khan said he believed that “ignorance” of these factors played into the hands of others.
This did not excuse what Rodger did by using the language he did, said Khan.
Rodger approached police in High Street, Cleethorpes, late at night and told them: “Why are you lot still patrolling the mosque? They bomb our churches and you lot defend them. It’s wrong.”
He also asked; “Shouldn’t you be standing outside the mosque or something? Why aren’t you guarding a mosque? You are there 24 hours a day. It’s disgusting. You wouldn’t be stopping me if I was a Muslim or wearing a burqa. This is England. EDL. EDL.”
Khan, mitigating, said Rodger had drunk about 15 pints of beer, regretted his actions and had shown remorse.
Rodger was fined £110 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a Government-imposed £20 victims’ surcharge.