Police in Northern Ireland have said they are investigating “a hate crime motive” after complaints about remarks about Islam by a Belfast pastor. James McConnell described Islam as “heathen” and “satanic”, during an address at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle Church on Sunday.
He told his congregation “a new evil had arisen” and “there are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain”.
Raied Al-Wazzan, of the Belfast Islamic Centre, said this was irresponsible. Dr Al-Wazzan said he was contacting the police and would hold Pastor McConnell “responsible for any racial attacks on any Muslim in Northern Ireland”. “This is inflammatory language and it definitely is not acceptable,” he told the BBC’s Nolan Show.
The evangelical Protestant preacher also compared Muslims to the IRA. “Fifteen years ago Britain was concerned of IRA cells right throughout the nation,” he said. “They done a deal with the IRA because they were frightened of being bombed. “Today a new evil has arisen. There are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain, can I hear an Amen, right throughout Britain, and this nation is going to enter into a great tribulation, a great trial.”
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