contribution by Ben White
On Sunday, an article appeared in The Sunday Times, under the headline, “Met allows Islamic protesters to throw shoes”.
Granted a spot on the front page, the piece opened with the apparent news that “Scotland Yard has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest”.
This seemed quite an extraordinary claim – so extraordinary, in fact, that on closer examination, some cracks started to appear.
The report focuses on one particular case involving an individual prosecuted for violent disorder following the protest outside the Israeli embassy in January 2009:
Chris Holt, Salim’s solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines.
“The court accepted that the earlier shoe-throwing incident was simply a ritual form of protest and therefore not a criminal act of violence,” Holt said.
Judge Denniss agreed that the act of shoe-throwing should not be considered in a charge of violent disorder against the student because it was “a symbolic” political gesture.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service admitted this weekend that the police advice to the Downing Street protesters was a factor in the case at Isleworth crown court, west London.
But having contacted the Crown Prosecution Service, I was sent the full press statement in question.
Spot the difference between this statement what the the Sunday Times article says:
Jeetinder Sarmotta, a CPS London Borough Crown Prosecutor, said: “There is no CPS policy that people who throw shoes, rather than other objects, during demonstrations will not be prosecuted.
“The CPS makes charging decisions based on the totality of the available evidence.
“Mr Salim pleaded guilty to violent disorder by throwing a stick but not by throwing a shoe. We were aware that there was a question over whether or not the police had given demonstrators permission to throw shoes by way of a political statement, but the CPS accepted Mr Salim’s guilty plea on the basis that we could not be certain on viewing the CCTV footage whether the item thrown was a shoe or not.
“By accepting the guilty plea we considered that the court would be able to impose a sentence that would reflect the criminality of Mr Salim during the demonstration.”
Now I can’t see anything there being a policy regarding all Muslims generally. Can you?
And why didn’t The Sunday Times article at least include more bits from the full CPS statement?
I imagine there is more to come here.
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Filed in: Islamists,Media