When I reported on this story recently, no information was available about the content of the posters which landed Conway with a twelve month prison sentence. Islamophobia Watch has posted some further details:
Among the slogans on show from his ground-floor window were “Jihad works both ways”, “no surrender”, “Muslims are the most hateful of them all” and a letter confirming that he was a member of the BNP. A passer-by reported Conway after being disturbed by the pictures of mutilated Muslims with graphic and obscene messages and imagery.
This all seems horrifying – Muslims – not Islam – were the target, and the violent images could clearly be seen as threatening.
It’s interesting that the original report emphasised the insult to religion so much, as that doesn’t seem the most intuitive way of describing these images.
Many were offensive – attacking both the prophet Mohammed and the Muslim religion …Later that day police attended the premises and found 17 posters and images in the front window in full public view,” said Mr Lowe. “The majority of the displayed posters and images were undoubtedly offensive to the Islamic faith.”
It’s unhelpful to describe these apparently foul posters in a way that allowed the possibility to emerge that the posters might have been much less offensive, only attacking Islam, an idea, and also communicating the message that criticising Islam, offending Islam, should be punishable by law.
Although I always assumed that whatever was posted was much more aggressive than Jesus and Mo, this is clearly not just ‘criticising an idea’ – which is what I said in my original post. I still think the twelve month sentence seems quite steep – not because I have any sympathy for Conway, but just looking at this dispassionately in the context of sentencing more generally, and I don’t fully understand the precise nature of the charge. But clearly the posters were completely vile.