Nottingham-based street preacher Hamza Siddiq said the Manchester bombing was “an inevitable consequence of British foreign and domestic policy towards Muslims”.
A convert to Islam, Siddiq grew up as Andrew Calladine in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, but now preaches his radical faith on the streets in England.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he wrote on Facebook shortly after the bombing. “I don’t think the attack in Manchester was the best choice of action to take.”
“But I refuse to apologise for it or pretend I don’t know the cause.
“The blame for it lies at the feet of the politicians, their police and their armies. It was an inevitable consequence of British foreign and domestic policy towards Muslims.”
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) May 26, 2017
The preacher recommended the British government take a number of steps to appease terrorists if it wants to see an end to attacks on its soil, including the release of Muslim prisoners and the removal of British forces from “Muslim lands”.
“If the Government agrees to that, they have nothing to worry about until the Muslims reach their borders,” he suggested threateningly. “But in the meantime they know how to get safety and security.”
Siddiq took an even harder line on the attack, launched by the 22-year-old son of a Libyan Islamist who was granted refugee status in Britain after fleeing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, in subsequent postings:
“Why should we care when the table turns,” he asked. “Do they think they can prod a hornet’s nest and not get stung?”
After making his comments, the preacher was run out of his Scottish hometown by angry locals, who spotted him in a local supermarket while he was visiting for a family funeral.
“Everybody’s heard about the disgusting stuff he’s been saying. We don’t want him back here,” a resident told the Daily Record.
“He’s the talk of the place. Lots of people were really angry that he showed his face here, and others were worried,” commented another.
The island’s tight-knit community of a little over a thousand people was wounded deeply by the teenager’s death, which has been widely reported by Scottish broadcasters.
Another islander, 15-year-old Laura McIntyre, remains in intensive care with serious injuries.