Five Muslims charged for inciting hatred against homosexuals
And when that Independent article was written, just two Muslims had been charged with stirring up 'hatred' for handing out leaflets outside a mosque suggesting that gay people should be executed. Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were accused of handing out a leaflet entitled 'The Death Penalty?', which called for the execution of homosexuals.
Today, the two have become five, with Ahjaz Ali, 41, Umer Javed, 37 and Mehboob Hassain, 44, also now accused of distributing threatening material.
The leaflets were apparently distributed outside mosques in Derby city centre in July 2010, and also reportedly posted through letter boxes in the city.
The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, is allowing this prosecution to proceed.
Perhaps we have reached the long-foreseen moment at which 'Muslim rights' meet 'gay rights' in the battle for supremacy.
His Grace does not have access to the material distributed, but it does appear that the Attorney is right to proceed with this. And before His Grace is accused of being an 'Islamophobe' or (again) of 'being Melanie Phillips', he would say the same if this were Jews, Christians or people of any faith or none distributing such a message.
We are in a nation in which hundreds of young gay (mainly) teenage boys commit suicide every year, struggling with issues of sexuality. Pushing literature through people's letter boxes demanding the judgment of shari'a is, indeed, an intimidating and threatening act.
And it strikes His Grace as more than a little hypocritical that Muslims in Britain have agitated for many years in order to enshrine in law the concept of 'hate speech' against a religion. Whatever these leaflets say, it is a fair bet that if the words 'gay' or 'homosexual' were exchanged for 'Muslim' or 'Islam', these five men would have been among the first to cry 'hate' and demand the full force of the law be applied to the 'Islamophobes'.
That is, if they hadn't taken the law into their own hands first.
As His Grace pointed out a few days ago, all groups have their extremists and moderates.
Including Christians (though that article is a gross Daily Mail hatchet-job without a word of counter-argument or defence).
While we would all prefer the moderate and reasonable to prevail - in good old Church of England via media fashion - what precisely should be the limits on freedom of speech? If this message is not permitted outside the mosque, why permit it within? If the law will not inhibit the fanatics and extremists on one side, what choice does the other side have but to breed its own fanatics and extremists? And what then is inflicted upon society by this iniquitous 'rights' agenda, but more pain and suffering and sorry tales of woe?