14 December 2015

Muslim scholar backs Christian pastor's right to call Islam 'satanic'

A Muslim academic has spoken outside a Belfast court in support of a born-again Christian pastor who is on trial after denouncing Islam as “satanic” and “heathen”.

Pastor James McConnell is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act over his anti-Islam remarks during a controversial sermon at his church in Newtonabbey, County Antrim, last year.

The 78-year-old evangelical Protestant preacher faces two charges – improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network – because his remarks, made at Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, in north Belfast, were posted on the internet.

But speaking outside Belfast magistrates court to hundreds of McConnell’s supporters, Muhammad al-Hussaini, a senior research fellow in Islamic studies at the Westminster Institute, said he was in the city to back McConnell’s right to free speech. [The Guardian] Read more