Man sentenced for posting Islamophobic Facebook messages
Categories: Latest News
Friday February 09 2018
Mr John Hanson, from Yorkshire, was sentenced by the Bradford Crown Court for posting messages on Facebook which advocated for violence against Muslims.
The court heard that Mr Hanson had posted several messages which, directly or indirectly, called for violence against Muslims or blamed Muslims for global attacks.
One message, posted in July 2016, called for violence against Muslims and another from the same month blamed Muslims for various wars and attacks around the world.
A third post by Mr Hanson, in July 2017, was a photo of him wearing a t-shirt that endorsed the destruction of Islam.
When interviewed by the police he admitted that the account belonged to him and that he was the sole person capable of updating it. He at first denied intention to stir up religious hatred though admitted the posts may have been upsetting to some people.
However, on the 22nd of December, he pleaded guilty to three counts of stirring up religious hatred and was sentenced on the 7th of February.
Mr Hanson received a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 300 hours of community service.
Sue Hemming – the Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS – said: “John Hanson’s case is another example of people posting extremist messages on social media.”
She continued: “This is a serious offence which harms community relations. Where there is enough evidence and it is in the public interest we will prosecute those who seek to stir up religious hatred.”
Various organisations, including the Muslim Council of Britain, have noticed a worrying rise in Islamophobic incidences on social media platforms over the past few years.
It is important that anyone who believes they are in immediate danger due to Islamophobic comments online should contact the police as soon as possible on 999. If not in immediate danger, or if you have suffered from an online Islamophobic incident in the past, then you can report it using the non-emergency number 101.
You can also – in addition to the police – report any Islamophobic hate crime to MEND’s Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) here. This allows us to monitor levels of abuse and compile accurate data on the levels of Islamophobia.
The IRU can also help you contact and deal with the police (if you choose to do so), and signpost you towards free legal advice and emotional support that may be available.