Islam: Spread by the Sword (Father Zakariya)

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Muslim cleric ‘devoid of remorse’ gets 4½ years for terrorism offences

Abu Izzadeen talks to the media after interrupting the speech of home secretary John Reid in August 2006.

Abu Izzadeen. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA

Abu Izzadeen, the radical Muslim cleric who heckled former Home Secretary John Reid at a public meeting, and called for volunteers to fight against British and American troops in Iraq, was yesterday jailed for 4½ years for inciting and funding terrorism.

Izzadeen, a former BT electrician who converted to Islam aged 17, was one of six defendants convicted over terror offences this week after a three-month trial.

As the men awaited their sentences, one of the co-accused, Shah Jalal Hussain, reappeared, 10 days after he absconded while the jury was deliberating at Kingston upon Thames crown court.

Hussain, who had failed to arrive at court on Tuesday, handed himself in yesterday morning. He was sentenced to two years for his part in the fundraising charge, and three months, to be served consecutively, for breaking his bail conditions.

Another of the co-accused, Simon Keeler, a British-born Muslim convert, received a four-and-a-half-year sentence. The father of five had worked as a builder before his arrest. Both Keeler and Izzadeen were also given 2½-year sentences for funding terrorism, to be served concurrently.

Judge Nicolas Price told the defendants that, while freedom of speech was a central tenet of democracy, they had “abused” those rights. Referring to Izzadeen, he said: “I am left in no doubt that your speeches were used by you as self-aggrandisement and not as an expression of sincerely held religious views … you are arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse.” Continue reading