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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 16:03 GMT
Protester guilty of race hatred
Protesters in London
Saleem denied the racial hatred charge at the Old Bailey
A 31-year-old man has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred during a demonstration against the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Abdul Saleem, of Poplar, east London, had denied using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour during the protest in London on 3 February 2006.

He was a "cheerleader" who had chanted slogans like "UK you will pay, Islam is on its way", the Old Bailey was told.

Saleem was remanded in custody until April for pre-sentence reports.

'Everybody was chanting'

The British Telecom engineer was also captured on camera shouting "Europe you will pay with your blood" and "7/7 on its way".

During the four-day hearing, father-of-five Saleem, of Mellish Street, admitted to the court the words could be seen as threatening but said that had never been his intention.

On Tuesday, the second day of his trial, he told the Old Bailey "everybody was chanting the same words".

"They were ringing in my head - it was something I said because everyone else was saying it," he added.

"They were never intended to harm anyone."

The cartoons, first published in Denmark, sparked demonstrations across Europe and in the Middle East.

Hundreds of people joined the London demonstration on 3 February last year, marching from the Regents Park Mosque to the Danish Embassy in Sloane Street.

The protest ended at the French Embassy.

Last month, Umran Javed, 27, of Birmingham, was convicted of soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred at the same rally.

He is also expected to be sentenced in April.


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