Anorak | Free Speech: Linda Jones trial makes a mockery of hate crime

Free Speech: Linda Jones trial makes a mockery of hate crime

by | 12th, June 2015

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Linda Jones, 65, of St Albans, has been found guilty of a religiously-aggravated hate crime. Jones, who had no previous, is now the owner of a 12 month community order and six week curfew following an altercation in Watford on April 17, 2014.

The Herts Advertiser reports:

Judge Pilling found Jones, who had no previous convictions, guilty of a religiously-aggravated Section 4A public order offence last month, after she called two Muslim men “terrorists with guns in their pockets”.

During the Jewish holiday of Passover last year, Jones and other members of the Beit Nitzachon congregation were manning a council-approved literature table in Watford town centre.

The table was draped with the national flags of Britain and Israel and carried Messianic Jewish literature.

Hamza Shah, 21, and Haroon Munir, 24, came over and began to talk about Israel they are not in favour of the country.

After several minutes Hamza Shah led Haroon Munir away from the argument, during which Jones was found to have made the racist comment.

Richard Cavarth reports on the courtroom exchange, in which District Judge Annabel Pilling refers to Israel as the ‘Holy Land’. Words matter. Judge Pilling has made a conscious choice. The country whose flag was being objected to is called Israel. The case also featured Jones being asked under cross-examination by prosecutor for the CPS, barrister Alan Burdis-Smith: “Was that [the Israel flag] there to wind up Muslims?”

Jones and her supporters will feel victimised. Haroon and his supporters will feel justified.

But this is about so-called hate crime. Where once the police would have eyed the Jews and Muslims with suspicion- as they would homosexuals and blacks they now invite minorities to tell them about phobic attacks. Under the banner ‘Intorerance will not be tolerated’ the police and all other institutions rocked by a crisis of identity are using race, religion and sexuality to show how useful, therapeutic and morally right-on they are.

Burdis-Smith’s inference that a flag can trigger such offence that a crime ensues is alarming. It touches at the root of hate crimes that invite police to examine your beliefs and thoughts. Why is beating someone up worse if you don’t like their race than simply hurting them because you don’t like them as an individual? In investigating the trigger for the offence, the police are investigating your thinking. Being a nasty piece of work who wanted to inflict pain on someone else is one thing; but in the State’s eyes being a malicious swine who could also be

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Posted: 12th, June 2015 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink