He also mocked the pope, but given the recent embarrassment over at the Foreign Office, the order, or “Asbo” can’t be about that. What if he just mocked Christian beliefs, and not Islam? Would authorities have pursued the case? And for that matter, if Taylor was accused of “causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress,” how has the Asbo system been applied against the Muslims in the U.K., including clerics, who serve up far more caustic rhetoric about non-Muslims?
“Athiest who mocked Jesus and Muslims hit with Asbo,” from The Asian News, April 26 (thanks to Twostellas):
An atheist who left leaflets mocking Jesus, Islam and the Pope in an international airport’s prayer room has been given an Asbo.
Harry Taylor, 59, from Salford, left home-made posters at Liverpool John Lennon Airport three times in 2008.
The self-styled philosopher denied three counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress but a jury unanimously found him guilty in less than an hour.
One leaflet showed a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of ‘no nails’ glue. In another, a cartoon depicted two Muslims holding a placard demanding equality with the caption: “Not for women or gays, obviously.”
Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise were told in another: “Stop, stop – we’ve run out of virgins.”
Another leaflet depicted the Pope with a condom on his finger.
Taylor, of Griffin Street, Higher Broughton, told Liverpool Crown Court he was sexually abused by Catholic priests as a youngster.
But he said he bore no grudge against religious people and claimed he was merely trying to convert them to atheism. Taylor, who is unemployed and on medication for depression, said it was ‘preposterous’ to suggest people could be incited to violence by cartoons.
He had adapted newspaper and magazine cartoons and added captions of his own.
But some went way beyond exercising freedom of expression, prosecutor Neville Biddle said, including one that linked Muslims to attacks on airports.
It emerged in court that Taylor was convicted of similar offences in 2006.
He left offensive leaflets in Manchester city centre churches St Ann’s and the Hidden Gem.
Judge James told him: “Not only have you shown no remorse for what you did but even now you continue to maintain that you have done nothing wrong and say that whenever you feel like it you intend to do the same thing again in the future.”
Taylor’s Asbo bans him from carrying religiously offensive material in a public place. He was also sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for two years, ordered to do 100 hours’ unpaid work and pay Â£250 costs.