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UK Muslim convicted of inciting racial hatred in London cartoon protests

[JURIST] A UK jury Thursday convicted Abdul Saleem of inciting racial hatred for his role in leading protests outside the Danish embassy in London in February 2006 against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] that first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. Saleem was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior with intent to stir up racial hatred [CRE backgrounder, PDF]. Prosecutors called Saleem the "cheerleader" of the protests, alleging that he shouted phrases such as "Europe you will pay with your blood" to the crowd. The UK Press Association has more.

Saleem, a British citizen, was one of five Muslims arrested [JURIST report] for leading the protests. Two others, Umran Javed and Mizanur Rahman [JURIST reports], have already been convicted of similar crimes, and another was fined [BBC report] for not notifying authorities of the protests in advance. The men are associated with al-Muhajiroun [Wikipedia backgrounder], a controversial Islamist group banned from Britain in 2005.

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