London, Feb 10: Three Muslim extremists who distributed leaflets calling for homosexuals to be hanged, stoned and burned to death were jailed by a British court Friday.
The trio were found guilty at Derby Crown Court last month.
The group had handed out the material in the street as well as posted it through letterboxes in a hate-filled campaign calling for the execution of gay people who they claimed were at the root of society’s problems, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
The three — Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed — are the first to be prosecuted under new laws against inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Ali was jailed for two years and Ahmed and Javed for 15 months each.
Sentencing the men, Judge John Burgess told them: “You have been convicted of intending to stir up hatred.”
“It follows that your intention was to do great harm in a peaceful community.”
He said: “Much has been said during the course of this trial about freedom of expression, and the freedom to preach strongly held beliefs; beliefs, which may have some foundation in scripture.”
“Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy and a basic ingredient of any free society. Parliament clearly had this very much in mind when this legislation was passed,” the judge added.