In a disturbing development, Northumbria Police in Gateshead last week arrested two men after they watched and shared a video on Facebook of a man burning the Koran in the US during the recent 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero in New York.
The men were drinking in the Bugle pub, Leam Lane, Gateshead, when they were arrested after watching and sharing the videos.
Around 30 people staged a protest outside Gateshead police station on Wednesday evening, the 15th of September, following the arrests.
The group stood outside the doors to the police station with an England flag for about three hours watched by a contingent of uniformed officers. The protesters had gathered at around 8pm after the two men were arrested earlier in the day on ‘suspicion of inciting racial hatred’.
The protest continued until around 11pm when the two arrested men were bailed pending further enquiries.
In a further development, the man who actually burned the Koran in the video on 9/11 in New York has been sacked from his job.
Derek Fenton, 39, of Bloomingdale, New Jersey, had worked for NJ Transit for 11 years as a conductor and train co-ordinator. One of his neighbours, Jacqui Marquez, said: “Good for him for burning the Koran. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. By firing him, they’re sending a message that there’s no freedom of speech. They’re completely wrong for doing this.”
Youtube have now removed all footage of Derek Fenton burning the Koran. Of course, if he had burnt the Stars and Stripes (or any other flag or religious book) the video would still be available. Double standards by Youtube, perhaps?
However, Civil Liberty has tracked down a blog which has embedded the video of Fenton’s Koran-burning exploits and providing you are prepared to risk arrest from the British police, you can watch it here.