Five men are on trial for the distribution of anti-gay material arguing that the death penalty should be used against gay people.
Mehboob Hussain and Umar Javed claim that a co-defendant Ihjaz Ali provided them with a leaflet entitiled: Death Penalty? The leaflets, which claimed to be used to ‘raise awareness’ contained Bible quotes and one of the leaflets depicted a mannequin hanging from a noose saying gay people were destined to go to hell.
Both men claim that: “It’s the duty of a Muslim to pass on the words of God.” Mr Hussain told Derby Crown Court that he did “not see any problems” with the leaflet or the message that it was giving.
Razwen Javed, Umar’s brother and another man Kabir Ahmed have also been charged for distributing threatening material with the intention of stirring up hatred.
Mr Javed spoke in court of how he did not believe the leaflets were offensive in any way, although after hearing the testimonies of four gay men who received the leaflets, wished to make an apology. He claimed “That was not my intention to make them upset.”
Despite his apologies, Javed and the four other defendants have denied all the charges. It is thought that the prosecution could be the first of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010.