Four British Muslim men from Blackburn, England, have been charged with anti-Semitism have entered not-guilty pleas, denying that they were involved in spreading racial hatred against the Jewish people.
The prosecution said that the four men, who were involved in the anti-Semitism charges were “issuing death threats and racial hatred towards the Jewish people” and for this purpose, they went to the Finchley area of London where a large Jewish community lives.
All four of them have denied the charge and told the judge through their lawyers that they will contest the charges.
What did they do?
The four men travelled to London to join a protest that was driving through London. In order to support the Palestinians who were being bombed in Gaza by the Israeli Army and forced out of their homes. The demonstration was aimed at the British Foreign Office, who they had hoped would speak up and condemn the attacks against the Palestinians. The fact that they have been charged as Anti-Semitic is frightening, and perhaps will become a precedent for future protesters who wish to stand up against the Israeli persecution of Palestinians.
At the time of the protests the According to a statement by the UN, the Israeli army were committing war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza; switching off the water supply, bombing into residential areas and storming the holy Al Aqsa site during Ramadhan prayers.
One of the defendants told local media that he was “falsely accused and will defend himself at the trial”. He said he spoke for the rights of Palestine but would never ever insult people of other faiths.
Adil Mota’s lawyer Ghafar Khan, who is a solicitor and high court advocate also from Blackburn, told the court that his client was part of the convoy that travelled through the Jewish community area in North London, including outside a prominent Jewish community centre, but didn’t take part in the threatening or abusive behaviour that could be construed as anti-Semitism and was not involved as charged.
Why are they bring prosecuted? anti-Semitism or protesting agsint Israel?
The Crown Prosecutor told the judge at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court that Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27; Jawaad Hussain, 24; Asif Ali, 25; and Adil Mota, 26, have been charged with raising anti-Semitic abuse from a convoy of cars in North London on May 16 this year when they travelled all the way from Blackburn to London as part of a pro-Palestine rally called “Convoy For Palestine”.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused were heard and seen by members of the public as shouting extreme slogans likely to stir racial and religious hatred against the Jewish people. They waved flags, said the prosecutor, and directed abuse at the Jewish people and picked up the Finchley area only because it’s well known that lots of Jewish people live there.
The prosecutor also told the court that all four men have never been convicted previously, and are of good character. The court said that all four defendants would be discharged without bail conditions as they have no history of any wrongdoing. They are scheduled to appear before Woodgreen Crown Court on November 3.