Preacher who called gay man ‘filthy’ and ‘worse than a terrorist’ convicted of hate crime
A Muslim preacher who called a gay man “a creature” and “worse than a terrorist” at London’s Speakers’ Corner has been convicted of a hate crime.
Omar Mohamad, 65, hurled homophobic abuse at the victim for six minutes on 6 October, 2019, City of London Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday (1 September).
According to the Evening Standard, the gay victim had recently become a Muslim and accused Mohamad of glorifying terrorism during his speech at Hyde Park’s famous Speakers’ Corner.
In response, the preacher called the victim “filthy”, “a creature”, and told him he was “worse than a terrorist”. He also accused him of “spreading AIDS”.
Following his one-day trial, Mohamad was convicted of using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
Kalsoom Shah, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “London’s Speakers’ Corner has had a proud and longstanding tradition of providing a space for debate. But this does not mean it is a safe space for hate crimes.
“Mohamad carried out a personal attack on the victim based on his sexuality. Mohamad’s words were homophobic, hostile and designed to intimidate and discredit the victim, who was left feeling extremely upset.
“I want to thank those that called out this nasty behaviour at the time, and all those who provided statements to help the prosecution.
“Hate crime has no place in our society and the CPS will robustly prosecute offenders. I hope this conviction gives other victims of hate crime the courage to come forward.”
The preacher will be sentenced on 22 September, and the CPS said it was applying for a “hate crime sentence uplift”, which could result in a harsher sentence.
Police forces across the UK were recently criticised for introducing rainbow ‘hate crime cars’
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While homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are on the increase, according to Stonewall, 80 per cent of LGBT+ people don’t report hate crimes to the authorities.
Police forces across the UK have recently been slammed for a bizarre initiative to remedy the situation.
Rainbow-coloured “hate crime cars” are set to be introduced in forces across the country in a bid to encourage more victims of anti-LGBT+ crimes to come forward to police.
But, as one Twitter user explained: “They need to take hate crimes against LGBTQ+, people of colour and disabled people seriously.
“They also need to take sexual and domestic crimes against women seriously.
“Rebranding their cars won’t help achieve that.”