A man who called for British troops to be brought back from Iraq in body bags at a demonstration against cartoons said to be offensive to Islam was today found guilty of inciting murder.
Mizanur Rahman, a 24-year-old web designer from north London, is one of four people convicted of various charges following a protest near the Danish embassy, in central London, last February.
It was organised following the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad – including one showing him as a terrorist – in a Danish newspaper. The cartoons were reprinted around Europe.
The Old Bailey jury was shown a film of Rahman using a microphone to tell the 300-strong crowd: “We want to see them [British troops] coming home in body bags. We want to see their blood running in the streets of Baghdad.
“We want to see the mujahideen shoot down their planes the way we shoot down birds, we want to see their tanks burn in the way we burn their flags.”
Rahman also had placards calling for the annihilation and beheading of those who insulted Islam, the court was told.
“He incited or encouraged others to murder in the name of religion,” Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said.
Rahman denied soliciting the murder of people who did not believe in or insulted Islam, as well as members of the British and US military and Danish, Spanish and French nationals.
He said microphone had been thrust into his hand and he had simply begun to echo chants around him.
Today’s verdict came after a retrial. In November last year, Rahman was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred, but the jury could not reach a decision on incitement to murder.
Jyllands-Posten, Page 3 of culture section, Sept., 2005.
The cartoons can be viewed here.
Following the verdict, the court was told he had previous convictions for offences including causing criminal damage by covering up naked women on advertising posters and having a rice flail martial arts weapon in his car.
He was remanded in custody until July 18 for sentence along with three other men already convicted of offences during the same demonstration.
Umran Javed, a 27-year-old from Birmingham, was found guilty of soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred in January. Javed, said to be one of the leaders of the demonstration, was shown on a police video shouting: “Bomb, bomb Denmark. Bomb, bomb USA.”
During his trial, he said he regretted saying those words, but added that they were not meant to be a literal incitement. “I understand the implications they have, but they were just slogans, soundbites,” he added. “I did not want to see Denmark and the USA being bombed.”
In March, another man said to have led the protest, 24-year-old Abdul Muhid, from east London, was found guilty of two charges of soliciting murder.
A prominent member of the Saviour Sect, which is linked to the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, he led a crowd chanting: “Bomb, bomb the UK” and produced placards with slogans calling for the annihilation of “those who insult Islam”, the Old Bailey heard.
In February, 31-year-old BT engineer Abdul Saleem, also from east London, was convicted of stirring up race hate after being filmed chanting: “7/7 on its way”.
• Original title: Man guilty of inciting murder at cartoon protest