Pastor Who Called Islam ‘Satanic’ Appears in Court

Pastor James McConnell

The Belfast pastor who said Islam was “satanic” and “heathen” is to make his first appearance in court today. The elderly man, who is in ill health, faces up to six-moths in jail for making the remarks.

Pastor James McConnell, 78, made the comments in May 2014 during a sermon that was broadcast live on the Internet, as Breitbart London reported here.

Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service has said he violated the 2003 Communications Act by “sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive.”

McConnell, who is paying his own legal fees, told The Belfast Telegraph: “I think it is a waste of money. A waste of thousands.”

The pastor has refused to give any admission of guilt, or sign documents to that effect, and has declined the offer of an “informed warning” from police.

He said: “It is a battle of free speech. If I am put in jail people will immediately respond and say: ‘This is not right, this is terrible, this is evil’. If I am successful, I will just praise God and get on my way and still preach the Gospel.”

He added: “I am 78 years of age. I have had four heart bypasses, a liver operation and I have cancer and diabetes, but jail knows no fear for me.

“They can lock me up with sex offenders and paramilitaries and I will do my time. I won’t be withdrawing what I said and I make no apologies for my beliefs.”

Meanwhile, the local Muslim “community leader” pushing for his prosecution – who has used the controversy to leverage government into supplying land for a mega-mosque – has expressed sympathy for Islamic State (IS) but has been left alone by the law.

Despite his views on their religion, the pastor said: “To every ordinary Muslim out there, I want to say to them that I love them, that I pray for them, and if they are in need or in any bother, I am there for them.”


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