Imagine if a Christian went into a mosque in Britain wearing a bandana that said “Jesus is Lord” and began shouting: “This is rubbish, you should be preaching the Gospel, turn to Christ.” Do you think the story would be found only in one bland article in the Derby Telegraph? Neither do I. Meanwhile, given the direction in which Britain is heading these days, has Mohamed Dar been named yet to the House of Lords?
CHURCHGOERS were left terrified after believing a 52-year-old man who walked into their church “dressed like a terrorist” on Remembrance Sunday “might be armed with a bomb”.
Mohamed Dar covered his face with a scarf and his head with a bandana that had the words “God is Great” in Arabic written on it when he entered the New Life Church, in Alfreton.
Within minutes he was shouting how the congregation should “turn to Allah” and that Islam “sent boys aged 10 to war”.
North East and Dales Magistrates’ Court heard how minutes before he walked into the church he had disrupted a Remembrance Day parade at the cenotaph in Alfreton.
Giving evidence yesterday, he said he had gone to the event dressed in that way “to show his respect to all the Muslims who had been slaughtered like pigs in Iraq and Afghanistan”.
The trial was told that Dar stood directly in front of the cenotaph, in Hall Street, and while the commemoration parade went past he “slow-clapped” .
He then went in the nearby New Life Church which was conducting a Remembrance Day service.
In a statement read out by Michael Treharne, prosecuting, churchgoer Cheryl Taylor-Warriner said: “There were about 20 in the congregation and a man came in during the service. Within minutes he shouted ‘this is rubbish, you should be preaching Allah, turn to Islam, we send boys of 10 to war’.
“He was dressed like a terrorist, I though he may have a gun or a bomb or some sort of weapon, I was so frightened.”
The statement of another churchgoer, Angela Gordon, was also read out by Mr Treharne.
She said: “I could not believe what he was saying in the church, especially because it was Remembrance Sunday. He was dressed like a terrorist or a suicide bomber.
“The incident really upset me. I felt physically sick.”
Magistrates yesterday found Dar guilty of two counts using threatening and abusive words or behaviour.
Giving evidence, Dar said he had lived in Alfreton for 11 years and that he did not know there was a Remembrance Day parade happening until that morning when he drove to Hall Street.
He said: “I accept that the views I expressed could be uncomfortable to other people but I cannot get to grips with the wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) and it manifests itself with those words that I said.
“I went to the memorial dressed as I did to pay my respects to the British soldiers who died in World War Two, not the other wars which I don’t believe in.
“I also wanted to pay my respects to all the Muslims that have been slaughtered like pigs in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
In a statement read out in court, Sergeant Jonathan Barnhill, of Derbyshire police, said he had been asked by Dar to visit his house on October 18, two weeks before the incident.
He said: “When I was there Mr Dar said he viewed suicide bombers as the highest form of people.
“He also informed me that he did a lot of research into terrorism.
“I found Mr Dar very disturbing.”
Dar apologised in court for his behaviour in the New Life Church, saying he had only gone there as it was “a soothing place, a house of God,” and that he had not deliberately gone there to cause trouble.
He will be sentenced at a future date pending a report.