We live in an era in which the Internet has non-stop claims by individuals who believe government and the military are agents of evil and doom. In America, Tea Party ranters accused the president of every crime imaginable including being raised in a gorilla camp, but when a group of Muslims go out in public and express their views it becomes a criminal matter. Five Muslim men who accused British soldiers of being rapists, murderers, and baby killers were found guilty of a public disorder offense because they expressed these view sin public. The Muslim men were charged with using threatening, abusive and insulting words that raised the possibility of leading to harm. The incident occurred in Lufton when the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglican Regiment was returning home and a crowd had come to cheer them for their effort in Iraq.
Lawyers for the men noted their clients had discussed their plans to protest with police and had agreed to a time and place to do so. They complied with police requests throughout their protest which included use of expressions such as “British soldiers burn in hell,” and “Baby Killers.”
District Court Judge Carolyn Melianby said society had to be protected against disorder and people in the community had a right to support peace-keeping responsibilities of the nation. Ironically, the decision came down just as an investigation into what happened in Basra, Iraq revealed British soldiers had killed a grandmother. This verdict is an insult to the right of peaceful assembly.