UK Officer Tells Preachers: Converting Muslims to Christianity is “Hate Crime”
By Peter J. Smith
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, June 2, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - UK police have refused to apologise for the actions of a Muslim community support officer, who threatened to arrest two Christian ministers for "hate crimes," because they were preaching Christianity in a Muslim area according to British media reports.
Christian ministers Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, were handing out leaflets and speaking with four Muslim youths about Christianity in Birmingham on February 19, when Naeem Naguthney, 30, a Muslim police community support officer (PCSO) told them to cease-and-desist from preaching to Muslims.
"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message," Cunningham told the Telegraph. "He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."
Both Christian ministers said Naguthney engaged them in a "threatening and intimidating" manner. Naguthney called in support from another PCSO named Ali, and a constable named Loi, who told them to leave the Islamic neighbourhood.
When he left, Naguthney made clear that the preachers could not count on the police for their safety.
"You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned," he said.
"I am dumfounded that the police seem so nonchalant," Cunningham told the Daily Mail. "They seem content not to make it clear that what we were doing was perfectly legal. This is a free country and to suggest we were guilty of a hate crime for spreading God’s word is outrageous."
Abraham, an Egyptian-born Muslim who converted to Christianity, told the Telegraph his experience confirms Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s controversial statement that swathes of Britain have become "no-go" areas.
"I couldn’t believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right," Abraham said, "there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."
The Daily Mail reports that Naguthney - although he was unemployed for 8 months before he found his new job with the police - played a prominent role at a conference to launch the West Midlands branch of the National Association of Muslim Police. Naguthney recited verses from the Koran to the audience before a recorded speech from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a speech from Home Office Minister Tony McNulty, and speeches from several chief constables were given.
The Baptist ministers, represented by the UK Christian Institute, have launched a legal action against West Midlands Police, saying their treatment violated articles 9 and 10 of the 1998 Human Rights Act, which guarantees freedom of religious expression. They have asked for an apology and compensation.
West Midlands Police has refused to apologise and instead claimed the incident had been "fully investigated," and Naguthney would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.
At the same time that Islamicism and secularism are making Britain inhospitable to Christianity and spreading the gospel, the British media reports the brutal stabbing of a 15-year-old Somalian girl found dead in an apartment elevator wearing her school uniform. The girl is the 31st teenager murdered this year in an ever increasingly lawless United Kingdom that has Britons terrified and vainly looking to the police for protection.
Anglican Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali has warned that Christian culture’s collapse in Britain not only will fuel complete social breakdown and chaos, but the vacuum will be filled by violent radical Islam. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, however, has called for the UK to accommodate Sharia law calling it "unavoidable."
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Anglican Bishop: Vacuum Created by Christian Culture Collapse Will be Filled by Radical Islam
Archbishop of Canterbury: Because Britain Tolerates Pro-Life Activists, We Should Accept Sharia Law
Norwegian Police Arrest Missionaries for Spreading Gospel at National Parade