03 September 2015

'Satanic Islam' Belfast preacher says he will go to jail to protect free speech

A born-again Christian pastor from Belfast, who denounced Islam as “satanic”, has said he is prepared to go to jail to defend free speech.

Pastor James McConnell told supporters outside a Belfast court hearing on Thursday morning that “either they try me and put me in prison or I am free to preach the gospel”.

The 78-year-old founder of an independent Christian church, based on the shores of Belfast Lough, accused the Public Prosecution Service of being unable to handle the case, which pitches the principle of free speech against alleged hate remarks.

McConnell is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act, after a speech that was streamed live from the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, in north Belfast. In it McConnell described Islam as “satanic” and “heathen”. [The Guardian] Read more