Hamza found guilty
by: SJ reporter - Last updated: 2006-02-07
Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri who preached at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of inciting murder of Jews and non-Jews as well as race hate.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Hughes told Egyptian-born Abu Hamza: "You are entitled to your views and in this country you are entitled to express them, but only up to the point where you incite murder or use language calculated to incite racial hatred. That is what you did."
In taped recordings released by the Police, Hamza told an audience: "If he doesn't respect Dawa [propagation of Islam] kill him...killing a Kaffir [non-believer] for any reason, you can say it is OK even if there is no reason for it."
He also said of Jews: "They are enemies to one another and Allah has cursed them. This is why he sent Hitler for them."
The Board of Deputies has welcomed the guilty verdicts.
"It would be difficult to conceive of more extreme examples of incitement against Jews and others, and all right-thinking people will have been appalled at many of the statements made by Sheik Abu Hamza, in the crudest and most violent terms," said Board chief executive Jon Benjamin.
"In the light of this case and bearing in mind recent events, the law must be clearly seen to be applied firmly in cases of incitement. Regrettably, the relatively moderate sentence of seven years detracts from the strong message that needs to be sent to those who engage in such activities.
Hamza's solicitor, Muddassar Arani, said he will appeal against the verdict.