Cleric guilty of spreading hate

BBC, Feb. 14, 2003

A Muslim cleric has been found guilty of three charges of soliciting murder by an Old Bailey jury.

Sheik Abdullah al-Faisal, 39, of Albert Square, Stratford, east London, denied five charges of soliciting murder and four others relating to stirring up racial hatred.

The charges related to talks he gave which were recorded and put on sale.

The jury found al-Faisal incited young, impressionable Muslims to kill non-believers, Americans, Hindus and Jews.

Chemical weapons

Al-Faisal argued his words were taken from the Koran, the Muslim holy book, and had been misrepresented.

One tape, Jihad, contained the words: “So you go to India and if you see a Hindu walking down the road you are allowed to kill him and take his money, is that clear?”

He also said it is permissible to use chemical weapons to kill unbelievers.

In a tape called Rules of Jihad, thought to have been made before September 11 Al-Faisal told his audience: “You have to learn how to shoot. You have to learn how to fly planes, drive tanks and you have to learn how to load your guns and to use missiles.”

‘Holy war’

He said: “You are only allowed to use nuclear weapons in that country which is 100% unbelievers.”

On a tape entitled Declaration of War, which had a picture of Bin Laden on the cover and is thought to have been made in 2000, Mr al-Faisal translates one of his speeches calling for a holy war against Americans and Jews to “drive them out of the Holy Land”.

The tape called Them Versus Us says: “There are two religions in the world today – the right one and the wrong one. Islam versus the rest of the world.”

It was also disclosed that controversial cleric Abu Hamza was due to be called as a witness in the case.

Embarrassing antics

Unknown to the jury, Abu Hamza appeared before the judge during a pre-trial hearing to outline his evidence.

However, the defence decided to drop him as a witness during the month-long case as Abu Hamza’s antics caused more and more embarrassing headlines.

Al-Faisal was also found not guilty on two counts of soliciting murder. He was also convicted on two charges of using threatening behaviour and one of distributing threatening material.

He was acquitted on one charge of possessing threatening material.

Al-Faisal will be sentenced on 7 March.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday February 24, 2003.
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