British Muslims convicted of homophobia
London - A court convicted three British Muslim men on Friday for inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation after distributing leaflets with an anti-homosexual theme.
The leaflets, distributed outside a mosque in Derby, central England, claimed Islam called for anyone caught committing homosexuality to be "executed".
Ihjaz Ali, 42, Kabir Ahmed, 28, and Razwan Javed, 27, are the first people to be prosecuted under new legislation which came into force in March 2010.
A pamphlet, called "The Death Penalty?", quoted Islamic texts that said capital punishment was the only way to rid society of homosexuality alongside an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose.
A jury at Derby Crown Court convicted the three men on the charge of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
During the trial the men admitted handing out the leaflets, but said they were simply following what their religion teaches them about homosexuality and did not intend to threaten anyone.
The jury also heard the leaflet outlined the history and legislation of the Buggery Act in England.
The men will be sentenced on February 10.
Two other men, Mehboob Hussain and Umar Javed, who were charged with the same offence, were found not guilty.