Pastor McConnells views may not be to everyones taste but since he did not advocate violence I find the decision to prosecute somewhat suspect. Another example of the politically correct establishment putting free speech at risk. This is particularly disturbing when you read further reports about the complainant in the Belfast Telegraph:
In his statement to the PSNI, Dr Al-Wazzan denounces the pastor's "terrible comments" and describes his "general sweeping statements" as "offensive and disgusting".
In January Dr Al-Wazzan himself was embroiled in controversy when he said that Islamic State, which has carried out mass executions and forced millions of people to flee their homes, had been a positive force in Mosul, his home city in Iraq.
"Since the Islamic State took over, it has become the most peaceful city in the world," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback.
"Yes, there are other things going wrong there... they are murdering people, I agree, but you can go from east to west of the city without fear."
This would be where the slightest infringement of whatever ISIS feels is Islamic for the day is met with violence and death. A gangster run community where slavery of Christian women and their subsequent rape and abuse is allowed in the name of their so-called prophet.
I would not use the term satanic to describe ISIS (as much as it is tempting) since I no more believe in the Devil than I do God. Evil is the word I would describe these people with. Islamic Nazi's would be quite accurate.
The Belfast Telegraph continues:
In his statement to the PSNI about Pastor McConnell, Dr Al-Wazzan claims that many Muslims in Northern Ireland are professionals while the pastor's congregation "may include impressionable, uneducated people".
Just because the Dr Al-Wazzan "withdrew them" doesn't actually mean much since he clearly meant what he said in the first place. And given his pathetic defence of ISIS he is in no position to call anyone names. If I were one of Pastor McDonnell's congregation I would certainly be offended.
Why the CPS is pursuing this case is beyond me. But then the "offence" is to criticise "Islam" whatever that is these days. Some say it's a "religion of peace" whilst others call for the death of us "Kufir". They both read the same theological texts so who knows.
At the same time we hear of the disturbing activities of "Islamic Student Societies" in our universities. According to The Times (no link£) my old college (then known as the Polytechnic of Central London):
The London university attended by the Islamic State murderer Mohamed Emwazi has hosted the highest number of extremist or intolerant speakers over the past three years.
The University of Westminster where the terrorist known as "Jihadi John gained a computer programme degree offered a platform on 25 occasions between 2012 and 2014.
The "safe spaces" "Trigger warning" crowd in the student movement seem to be silent on this. Ban secularists but allow Hate Preachers. can't offend the "religion of Islam".
This included a so called Palestinian "scholar" (so-called because these people are no such thing and make up their hate as they go along) allegedly called homosexuality a "criminal act" according to the Times.
Would Dr Wazeen like to elucidate his views on ISIS throwing gays off of tall buildings? I'd like to hear what he has to say.
The prosecution of Pastor McConnell is not in the public interest at all. More to the point it is a threat to free speech and his persecutor knows it.
The National Secular Society writes
"In our view Pastor McConnell was well within his rights to refuse a warning that would have remained on his criminal record for a year, particularly given that he clearly did not incite violence in his sermon and the PPS do not even appear to claim that he did. Given that, the PPS's behaviour seems even more extraordinary.
"Whatever the outcome of this case, the actions of the Public Prosecution Service are likely to have a chilling effect on everyone's freedom to speak openly about their beliefs.
"In an open and free society, we should all feel able to express our beliefs and opinions without fear of criminal sanction - regardless of how unpalatable others may find them.
"The weapon of 'offense' is increasingly being used to stifle free expression. The desire to live in a harmonious and tolerant society is a noble one, but will not be achieved by the suppression of fundamental freedoms.
Free speech is under threat.
Our Human Rights come well before any ones ideological or theological beliefs. Nothing is beyond criticism and that includes the Islamic faith.