A local paper, the Shields Gazette has reported on the trial of an EDL supporter who posted a comment threatening Muslims with violence ‘Oslo-style’ on Facebook. Kenneth Holden pleaded guilty to two charges of ‘sending an offensive message by a public communication network’.
From the local paper:
“A former soldier wrote anti-Islamic comments on his Facebook page he started supporting the English Defence League (EDL).
“Kenneth Holden, 30, was arrested after police were alerted to two updates he posted on his personal page on the social network site, abusing Muslims.
“Holden, of Winskell Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to two counts of sending an offensive message by a public communication network at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
“He also admitted causing criminal damage to his grandfather’s home in a separate incident.
The prosecution said that after he was arrested, he “asked the police if it was because he didn’t like Muslims.
“In a second police interview, he posted the comments on his page and accepted that they could be seen as offensive to Muslims.”
In April this year, Holden posted on Facebook that he had 'got a pipe bomb just 4 Ocean Road' - an area of South Shields known for its curry houses.
He added, 'GIVE ME A GUN AN AL DO YOU ALL OSLO STYLE'.
His defence lawyer told the court that, “He was in the Army, and has some fairly strong views about Muslims.
“He supports some of the beliefs of the English Defence League and believes that the group was started after some Muslims spat on soldiers who were returning from Afghanistan.
“The comments on Facebook were of a religious nature. Some people say it is part of free speech, but by his guilty plea Mr Holden accepts he crossed the line. "
One wonders how long the EDL can go insisting that it protests against ‘Islamist extremism’ when so many of its members and supporters like Holden, have expressed general contempt for Muslims and Islam on social networking sites (se for example here, here and here).
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