Council Shuts Down Bookseller for Selling Knights Templar Mugs Deemed ‘Offensive to Muslims’

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 26: Templars attend Pope Francis' weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on November 26, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During today's General Audience Pope Francis told pilgrims the Church is on a continuing journey towards heaven. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Franco Origlia/Getty

A local council in the United Kingdom has banned a rare bookseller from having a stall in Loughborough Market after someone complained that novelty mugs she had for sale could be “offensive to Muslims”.

The mugs, sold by 56-year-old stallholder Tina Gayle, featured Knights Templar iconography and their Latin motto, which is based on the words of Psalm 115:1 — “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

Ms. Gayle told MailOnline the council sent her a letter asking her to remove the mugs, and when she said this was ridiculous and refused, she received an outright ban from the market.

‘It’s very unfair,” she said. “You’re meant to have three written warnings before expulsion and they didn’t do that. It was apparently something so bad they were banning me completely.”

The bookseller disputed the mugs being offensive, characterising the Templars as “fighting monks, used to protect pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem. They stopped them being robbed… they weren’t an army who were killing.”

She added: “It’s a very important week for the Knights Templar as October 13th is when all the Knights Templar were arrested by the King of France and then slowly slaughtered.

“That’s where the saying ‘unlucky for some’ comes from.

“A lot of my customers are Knights Templar, it’s a Christian Masonic Order. It’s about swearing a vow to protect the Christian faith.”

“Richard the Lionheart killed thousands of Muslims and I’ve had items relating him, and the Romans, and no one has ever complained.

“No Muslims have ever complained… in fact I don’t think I’ve ever sold a book to a Muslim.

“If I only sell books on people who haven’t killed someone, I’d be reduced to [gardening expert] Alan Titchmarsh,” she added.

Ms. Gayle had previously been warned by the council for selling ‘Nazi memorabilia’, but she defended the items — such as a manual describing soldiers’ uniforms in detail — saying they were sold to customers involved in legitimate activities such as Second World War reenactments.

“It will be such a shame if they take away the chance for an ordinary citizen to research whatever historical information they wish. You’re taking away an individual’s rights.”

The council stood by its decision to ban Ms. Gayle from the market as being “in line with our market regulations which state that if a trader has displayed serious misconduct, they can be immediately excluded from trading, with no further warnings required.

“Serious misconduct includes bringing the market into disrepute and selling items which could be offensive.”

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