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Why weren't these people charged with contempt of court?

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Why weren't these people charged with contempt of court?

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 4 Nov - 8:30


JEERING Muslim fanatics turned an Old Bailey court into a battleground yesterday after an Al Qaeda follower was jailed for stabbing an MP.

In unprecedented scenes the angry mob chanted “British go to hell” as would-be assassin Roshonara Choudhry was handed a sentence of life with a minimum of 15 years.

Startled security guards bundled the mob out of the historic court as they turned their hate on the judge and a Muslim woman on the jury. One shouted “curse the judge” while another ranted: “Shame on you sister, sitting on a jury, judging a Muslim sister.”

The gang, sitting in the public gallery, chanted “Allahu akbar” or “God is great” and another demonstration raged outside the court.

It appeared last night that none of the mob had been arrested for contempt of court after the outburst. Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said: “If the court case was disrupted as seriously as I’m told then I don’t see why the police should not have made some arrests for contempt of court.

“What they were doing amounts to affray and they appear to have been trying to incite racial tensions.”

Tory backbencher Philip Davies said: “I am a big believer in freedom of speech and people have the right to say what they want. But if these people think this country is so awful and evil then why do they choose to live here?

“What happened to Stephen was awful and for these people to start lecturing inside the court is absolutely appalling.”

After being thrown out, three fanatics protested outside the Old Bailey holding a home-made placard saying “Stephen Timms – Go to Hell.” Others chanted “British soldiers must die”.

City of London Police, whose area covers the Old Bailey, confirmed there were no arrests. A spokesman said: “We monitored the situation outside the court but no complaints were made.”

Security sources in Britain fear that Choudhry will become a martyr who will inspire other Muslim extremists and point to yesterday’s protest as a sign of the influence she may have. One said: “She wanted to become a martyr in the first place and although she didn’t carry out her intention to kill it appears she achieved her purpose.”

Mr Timms last night backed calls for an overhaul of radical websites hosting terror videos which were used to radicalise Choudhry. Her online radicalisation was “puzzling and alarming” and her knife attack on him was like a “bolt out of the blue”. He said: “My real worry about it all is that a very bright young woman with everything to live for would reach the conclusion that she should throw it all away by attempting to kill the local MP.”

The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the stabbing as a “mindless act” and said Muslims in the MP’s constituency felt “deeply hurt” by it.

“The Old Bailey has heard that Roshonara Choudhry stabbed the Labour MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, because he voted for the Iraq war,” it said. “The MCB is appalled by this reasoning which reflects an aberrant personality. Political differences must be resolved in forums of discussion and debate and not by such mindless acts.”

The court heard Choudhry, 21, stabbed her East Ham MP and former Treasury minister Mr Timms twice in the stomach with a kitchen knife at his constituency surgery in East London.

Inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda cleric linked to last week’s air cargo bomb plot, it is believed the group’s first political assassination bid on British soil. The court heard she was disarmed by the MP’s assistant.

She said the stabbing was “punishment” and “to get revenge for the people of Iraq”. She had another knife she said she planned to use if the first one broke. She also had a list of other MPs who had supported the war in Iraq.

Mr Timms, 55, has since made a full recovery and gave evidence.

Choudhry refused to recognise the court and would not enter pleas. However, she was found guilty on Tuesday of attempted murder and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon. She refused to be brought to court yesterday and appeared via video link.

As he passed sentence Choudhry smiled broadly when Mr Justice Cooke said: “You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr.”

The judge said Choudhry would continue to be a danger to MPs for the foreseeable future. “You intended to kill in a political cause and to strike at those in Government by doing so,” he said. “You did so as a matter of deliberate decision-making.”

The court heard Choudhry was a high-flying university student at King’s College, London, who had hoped to become a teacher. She lived with her siblings and parents, who are not religious and said to be devastated.

Jeremy Dein QC, defending, said she was a young woman trying to find a sense of “individuality” when she came across the radical website.

Now, if I sat in a courtroom chanting 'Kill Iraqis,' I would no doubt be charged with at least contempt of court. Or if I were to stand outside a court with a chanting mob, I would probably have been charged with inciting violence or at least a public order offence. So, why were none of this mob, inside or outside the court, charged?

Islamophobia: an irrational fear of upsetting Muslims.

"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)


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