Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, are to appear before magistrates in Derby accused of handing out leaflets calling for homosexuals to be executed.
The pair, who were arrested after a tip-off from the public, have been charged with distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
It is the first prosecution since laws outlawing homophobia came into force last March.
They are also accused of placing the leaflets through local letterboxes during the same month, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
The pair were yesterday (THURS) charged with distributing the leaflet, titled “The Death Penalty?”, outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July last year.
Prosecution on the grounds of incitement to violence, as with prosecution on the grounds of libel or slander, I’m fine with.
“Stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation” I’m not so fine about as a grounds for prosecution. Sure, I agree, we don’t want to change the law in the manner they propose: I don’t think we want to end up executing anyone for any reason.
I don’t know in detail what the leaflet said of course, but imagine it this way. That they were recommending that UK law be changed so as to reflect one of the more extreme versions of Sharia law.
No, of course I don’t support such a move. But we’ve really gone and made it illegal to recommend a change in the law?
If the leaflet said “Kill Teh Gayers” then it comes under that first part which I’m entirely happy about: incitement to violence. If it really was “we should change the law so that Teh Gayers are executed” then while it’s obnoxious, appalling even, I’m deeply unconvinced that urging such should be against the law.
Isn’t this actually what democracy is all about? That the peeps get the chance to say, however absurdly, what they think the law should be?