A Muslim activist who is known for his radical views regarding the war in Iraq was jailed and sentenced for four and a half years for his inflammatory speeches in a London mosque. Judge Nicholas Price said that Abu Izzadeen, was among the leaders of a group of men who gathered in the Regent’s Park mosque in November, 2004, to call for volunteers to fight British troops in Iraq and to make an appeal for funds to finance insurgency abroad. He was also accused of heckling then Home Secretary John Reid who was giving a spech in 2006. The judge said Izzadeen and his associates had abused the right to free speech. Izzadeen was told by the British judge: “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. I find that you are arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse.”
After the sentencing, Bethan David, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The challenge in this case was to demonstrate to the jury that sometimes statements overstep not just the boundaries of taste and decency, but also the boundaries of the law.”
The bottom line is apparently no evidence was found that Izzadeen committed any action of terrorism. Heckling a government official is certainly within the boundaries of law and urging people to fight is just that — urging. The case against Izzadeen would have been strengthened if there was evidence he had in some manner directly aided the killing of anyone.