Man says he was not encouraging terror attacks with call for ‘jihad with the sword’


From the Independent

An alleged Islamist extremist has said he did not mean to encourage terror attacks with a speech declaring that jihad “by fighting by sword” was compulsory for Muslims. Abubaker Deghayes, 53, made the claim while addressing the congregation at Brighton Mosque after evening prayers.

He denies encouraging terrorism with a speech delivered on 1 November 2020.

A trial at London’s Old Bailey was played footage of Mr Deghayes making a sword gesture while saying:

“Jihad, jihad, jihad! Jihad is compulsory. Jihad by fighting by sword, this jihad is compulsory upon you, not jihad is the word of mouth….Jihad is compulsory upon you, you, you and you until the day of resurrection, whatever the British Government thinks, whatever Prevent thinks, whatever Israel thinks; send to the sea. They can go and drink from the sea [inaudible] Allah curse their fathers, OK?”

He denied that his speech could be interpreted as a call to violence, saying he was “explaining the concept of fighting in the way of Allah as it exists in the religion of Islam”.

“I was encouraging people to put into practice the concept of jihad that exists in the religion of Islam, I’m not saying you should put it in practice and go and kill people or commit crime,” Mr Deghayes told the jury.

The defendant gave evidence wearing the same top worn during the speech, a black hooded jumper bearing a “Free Palestine” slogan.

When asked about the concept of Islamist extremism, he replied: “This phrase is something that is made up … there is no extreme islam, violent islam, radical islam, moderate Islam, in the Quran there is Islam.”

In another part of the speech, Mr Deghayes talked about the “kuffar”, meaning non-Muslims, saying: “Allah is more powerful than you! You, idiots! You kuffar idiots, Allah is more powerful than you! The non-believer [inaudible] is an idiot, he’s stupid.”

The defendant said he did not hate non-Muslims, but hated “the action of disbelieving and denying”.

Mr Deghayes, of Saltdean in Sussex, denies encouraging terrorism and remains on bail as his trial continues.

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