He was just interpreting the Qur’an, says Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal. From the BBC, with thanks to Nicolei:
A Muslim cleric jailed for urging followers to kill non-believers, Jews, Hindus and Americans has lost an appeal against his conviction.
Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal was jailed for nine years last March for soliciting murder and using threatening and insulting words in taped lectures.
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal, while upholding the conviction, reduced his sentence to seven years.
The 39-year-old had preached at Brixton mosque in south London.
El-faisal’s trial was the first prosecution of a Muslim cleric in England.
When he was originally sentenced the Common Serjeant of London, Peter Beaumont, told him: “Instead of being a calming force you fanned the flames of hostility.”
The judge also recommended el-faisal, of Stratford, east London, serve at least half his sentence before being deported.
The Jamaican convert to Islam told young British Muslims they would be rewarded with 72 virgins in paradise if they died in a holy war.
He was sentenced to seven years on three charges of soliciting the murder of non-believers, Jews, Hindus and Americans in his speeches.
And he was sentenced to an additional two years on charges of using insulting words and distributing tapes of insulting words.
During his trial he argued he was interpreting and updating the words of the Koran, the Islamic holy book.
Interesting defense. Did he think that if he could convince the Court that his hatred and incitement to murder was religious instruction, he would get a pass?