One of five men charged after distributing anti-gay leaflets has said in Crown Court that he has no problem with gays.
Kabir Ahmed, 28, said that the wording of the leaflets, handed out in Normanton in 2010, which contained historical facts and quoted the Koran, were non-threatening.
This is Derbyshire reported that he said to have had no problem with a gay classmate at school and that he said: “A teacher at Derby College was also gay. He was one of my favourite teachers.”
He described the suggestion that the leaflets were intended to be threatening as “absolutely ridiculous.”
“I would have stopped distributing them if that was the case. I am not some sort of monster. I did not want to harm anybody, I did not want to go against the law.”
Ahmed and another of the men charged, Razwan Javed, have told Derby Crown court that they are to rely solely on testimonials and character references to make their case.
He went on to attribute the leaflet distribution to his religious beliefs and said: “It was my duty as a Muslim to spread what God says about homosexuality.”
Javed and Ahmed, along with three other men were charged with distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation which goes against the Public Order Act 1986.
The leaflet, which has not yet been shown to the court, but which the case is based on, displays the words ‘Death Penalty?’ and an image of a mannequin with a noose around its neck.
They were described in court as “frightening and threatening.”
Ahmed went on to say, “It was just an image of the punishment that was handed out in 1533.”
The men were arrested after being seen handing out the leaflet, along with another two, in Normanton in the few days prior to the Derby Gay Pride Festival 2010.
Javed’s brother, Umar Javed, 38, is among the five charged as well as Mehboob Hussain, 45, and Ihjaz Ali, 42, all from Derby.
Two other leaflets were also handed out by the men, all of whom are Muslim, called God Abhors You and Turn Or Burn.
The trial is ongoing.