Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Hamza trial: Evidence on day one

Abu Hamza (Image by court artist Elizabeth Cook/PA)
The recordings are to be played to the court
Prosecutors have said video and audio recordings of the speeches given by Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri form the basis of the allegations they have brought against him.

The 47-year-old, who is on trial at the Old Bailey, denies 15 charges alleging soliciting murder, inciting racial hatred and possessing information "useful" to a terrorist.

In opening the case, prosecutor David Perry described the contents of the tapes to the jury.


Mr Abu Hamza is alleged to have said that Muslims in the UK "are living in a toilet and are living like animals".

He called for government by a Caliph - a reference to a leading Muslim regarded as a successor to Mohammed.

He allegedly urged his followers to sacrifice themselves in Jihad and described Muslim scholars who did not shares his views as hypocrites.

The cleric said women were to "encourage their husbands and train children as young as 10 or 12 years old to become the future Mujahideen - the fighters for Islam".


According to prosecutors, Mr Abu Hamza describe the UK as a kuffar country - a nation of non-believers at war with Islam.

He criticised democracy and said the British and US governments had shared in the deaths of Muslims, Mr Perry said.

"If given the choice between sacrificing your religion or your necks they should sacrifice their necks," Mr Abu Hamza is alleged to have stated.

He also talked of killing people who sold alcohol, the court heard.


In a compilation of sermons from 2000, Mr Abu Hamza allegedly referred to the sinking of the Russian submarine, the Kursk, in August of that year.

He called on Allah "to kill the sailors" on the submarine in retaliation for "our brothers in Chechnya", a reference to the conflict with Russia in the Chechen Republic.

Mr Abu Hamza also allegedly said Jews were "secretly hated" by the west, but that this could not be displayed because they "controlled the banking system".

He said Hitler was "sent" to torture and humiliate the Jews, it was claimed.


"There is no drop of liquid loved by Allah more than the liquid of blood," Mr Abu Hamza allegedly said in a recording of a lecture from 1997.


In a video made at a private meeting, Mr Abu Hamza allegedly said it was acceptable to kill women and children if they were fighting Muslims, or if there was no way to prevent their deaths.


In the tape of a lecture, Mr Abu Hamza allegedly said while children should not be killed on purpose, injury was permissible if they were in the "target area".

On suicide bombings, he allegedly said: "It is not called suicide, this is called martyrdom."

He is said to have added: "If we do not use terrorism or torture what are we going to use?"


In September 1999, Mr Abu Hamza allegedly criticised the United Nations and Nato and said UK taxes were used to kill Muslims.


Prosecutors claimed the cleric said Palestine would be the "biggest Jewish graveyard in the world".


In an audio recording, the defendant is said to have talked about Jews being the chief enemy of Islam.


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