Emdadur Choudhury, 26, a member of Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), was convicted of public disorder after burning two poppies during the two-minute silence on November 11 last year.
He added: \”I get more when I get a parking ticket.\”
Judge Howard Riddle imposed the low fine despite saying Choudhury was guilty of a \”calculated and deliberate insult to the dead and those who mourn them\”.
\”This fine, I will wear it as a badge on my shoulder. I did it for Allah. I did it to raise awareness that these so-called soldiers are the criminals. They are the ones who should be tried for war crimes.\”
Members of MAC were heard chanting \”British soldiers burn in hell\” before the poppies were set on fire at the front of the demonstration near the Royal Geographical Society in west London, Belmarsh Magistrates heard.
Speaking after the fine was handed down Choudhury was unrepentant. Describing the public order charge against him as “insignificant” he said: \”It is ridiculous for them to find me guilty of this crime which is not really a crime. You can see by the punishment they have given me. It was a political issue.\”
Is it illegal to burn poppies? No.
Is it illegal to insult people? No.
Is it illegal to insult the military? No.
The government? People\’s feelings? The dead? Act like a complete tool?
No, all of these things are entirely legal in our country, for we are a free people.
The maximum punishment under Section 5 of the Public Order Act is a £1,000 fine for using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour that could cause harassment, alarm or distress.
You need to actually directly harm someone else (harassment, alarm and distress are indeed harms). Or, the other thing that you could have been charged with, behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace, is about you acting as such a tosspot that someone was likely to beat you up.
Freedom of speech really does mean freedom of speech and that we accord that freedom to all, even those we vehemently disagree with, is a badge of honour for us, not for those who speak freely.
As it should be of course and as it isn\’t in all too much of the world.
Do remember that next time someone decides to call Mohammed a paedophile. It\’s legal to insult the memory of the Prophet, to insult your religious beliefs, even to insult you. What would not be legal is to cause harassment, alarm or distress, nor behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.
Aisha was 9 when he bonked her, you know?