Hate crime: man arrested for mocking Muslims in a prayer room

Hate crime: man arrested for mocking Muslims in a prayer room May 10, 2019
Images via FaceBook

ALTHOUGH police have not named him, a man arrested this week for making fun of Islamic prayer is believed to be Terence Howarth, above.

The arrest was made after two videos appeared on Howarth’s Facebook page showing a man going though the motions of prayer along with the words:

May Jesus be with you now leave me alone as I fly on my magic carpet.

On Wednesday, police were made aware of the videos, and a day later a 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. He remains in police custody awaiting interview.

Inspector Stuart Maley-Jones, of Greater Manchester Police’s Bolton District, said:

I would like to thank those who have reported this incident and reassure them, as well as the wider public, that while we have made an arrest our investigation does not simply stop here. Hiding behind a computer screen does not equate to being above the law and I would like to take this opportunity to stress that we are committed to bringing those who spread hatred in this way to justice.

The alleged crime is believed to have been committed in the prayer room of Royal Bolton Hospital.

A woman from Halliwell who was visiting the hospital said she recognised the room immediately when she was shown the video. She pointed out the man in the video was wearing shoes and touching holy texts, which are both frowned upon by the faith.

Imteyaz Ali from the Bolton Council of Mosques said:

It’s a place of worship kindly provided by the hospital for all faiths, which should be respected. Now it’s clearly a police matter and they should deal with it robustly.

Trish Armstrong-Child, director of nursing at Royal Bolton Hospital said:

We are saddened to learn that our facilities which form part of the religious and spiritual care we provide to our patients, visitors and staff have been misused in such a disrespectful manner.

Our faith rooms are open to all 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we would hope that they would be treated with respect by everyone who visits the hospital.

Our multi-faith chaplaincy team and our security staff are aware of the incident and we will be working together to try and ensure our premises are used responsibly and respectfully by all.

Yesterday a post on Howarth’s Facebook page referred to mental health problems, and offered an apology to the Muslim community. It also said that the stunt was not performed in a mosque.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • 24CaratHooligan

    This is not a “hate” crime. Arresting someone for being a dick makes a mockery of the very real hatred suffered by people across the world. By all means ban the little tit from the airport, maybe have a quiet word, but arrest? The thin blue line is stretched past breaking point as it is, what happens when someone gets knifed because of their religion/race?

  • Tawreos

    How is this a crime? Mocking something does not, necessarily, denote hate.

  • Nick G

    Whether it’s a crime or not is a matter for the police, prosecuting authorities, and if it gets that far, the courts. There’s a continuum between this kind of insulting behaviour, harassing women wearing the hijab, street assaults, and mass murder, and a danger that incidents like this, if tolerated, contribute to the normalising of hatred.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    quite, being a dick is nothing to be proud of, but is not a hate crime, if this is a hate crime, every parody of every religion ever done was a hate crime, and as you say makes the words meaningless

  • 24CaratHooligan

    I agree with the idea that we should not be normalising hatred, but I maintain it’s not a matter for the police or the courts unless significant physical or mental harm has been done. We should be aiming for a societal shift away from this kind of moronic behaviour. Involving the police makes it seem as if this is an important incident and that this is a dangerous criminal whereas it’s merely a sad idiot trying to make himself look hard. Lets not buy into his game. You’ll have to excuse me, words are something that other people have right now, brain is in derp mode.

  • Broga

    Looks as if being immature, childish, ignorant, and being so silly you do not realise how foolish you are is a crime.

    On the other hand brain washing children with mind stifling superstition is so desirable that the government will fund it from our taxes.

  • As much as I appreciate much of the progressive politics found in many European nations, incidents like this make me glad I’m in the U.S., where we actually understand what freedom of expression means.

    What he did might have been capable of resulting in legal repercussions, such as if others had been using the room for its intended purpose at the time. Harassment is reasonably seen as criminal in some cases. But a mocking video, with no complaints made at the time it was filmed? No way.

  • Chris Hogue

    I wonder which race is worse? Christian or Muslim

    I was always under the impression they weren’t races, but hey, we learn new stuff every day.

  • Well, Muslims are currently winning the race towards theocracy, but in many places Christians are giving them a real run for their money.

  • Freethinker

    Oh NO! Not wearing shoes and touching “holy” texts!!

    2 questions: When did the Brit police become a Sharia law enforcement agency? Are they not able to distinguish mocking, and hatred?

    Looking forward to getting arrested for the below gif which also explains the many mental issues Islam has a tendency to produce.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86ea7e45f063750007de3e5105ce05cf3aefd6501edb2906e32349726349a9d5.gif

  • Chris Hogue

    Now there’s a race where everyone is a loser.

  • persephone

    It was stupid and immature. It’s not a hate crime. Frankly, if your god gets that upset over something this tiny, how does he manage to get anything done?

  • Nick G

    I think you are in danger of precisely, if inadvertently, “buying into his game”. We don’t know his individual motivation, but what we can observe is a systematic process of the normalisation of hatred online, which often proceeds through acts which, if challenged, can be presented as “just a joke” (by the perpetrator), or “a sad idiot trying to make himself look hard” by others. If not challenged, then the next escalation can be made. I’m not saying this case should definitely result in prosecution; I don’t know all the details or context. But you assume no significant mental harm has been done. You can’t know that, particularly as this case can be seen as part of a constant “drip-drip-drip” of small-scale aggressions that in sum, do indeed cause harm.

    ETA: And which drip-drip-drip, BTW, I see in this very thread.

  • Nick G

    It’s not a matter of whether “god” gets upset. This is, quite clearly, aimed at insulting and upsetting people.

  • Nick G

    The law in question is not part of Sharia, it was passed by the UK Parliament. Mocking is very often an expression of hatred, as anyone who has been subjected to bullying will know. As for “mental issues”, I rather think you have one: being a bit of a shit.

  • Nick G

    Yeah, yeah. The racist’s current favourite excuse: “Islam isn’t a race”. No, but Muslims, and people wrongly assumed to be Muslims (both Christians from the Middle East and Sikhs have been attacked by people yelling their hatred of Muslims), very often get singled out for harrassment or worse because of their race. The same people who hated “Pakis” 20 years ago will now tell you they hate “Muslims”.

  • Freethinker

    The law in question is not part of Sharia, it was passed by the UK Parliament.

    Except that it parallels sharia. Of course it’s a lighter version. I doubt if the “offender” will be killed for their “transgression” of offending an imaginary Deity incapable of defending itself – as is the custom in many Muslim places, so there is that. The law is sad, pathetic actually. If people don’t want others to not ridicule their beliefs perhaps they should not have such ridiculous beliefs.

    Unlike sharia and Islam we live in a world where self expression of opinions including comical ones is protected under freedoms of speech. We have unfortunately adopted a belief that we should somehow give more respect to those who hold utterly nonsensical and deeply delusional views a wide pass as long as they are a large enough group or manged to get themselves classified as a “religion”. It’s a throwback from when church and state worked as one unit to control society. Muslims have mental issues. This is a fact easily verified by science. Do yourself a favor and look up the percentages of interbreeding among Muslims then look up the effect of incest or near incest on mental health. Couple that with rejection of science and evidence based thinking and you have a group of people with severe mental impairment issues.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba88c4d180a9035bffeb6c0503c285db9ca7fa01b7ffe3bc541caf43e7be4bd0.png

  • Ed_Burroughs

    You are an idiot.

  • So insulting and insulting people is hate and a crime. Have you seen the things Allah says about non-Muslims in the Koran, and do you know what he intends to do to you when he gets his hands on you (assuming you are not a Muslim).

  • Good for this chap. It is our duty to ridicule the ridiculous. The spectacularly ridiculous cult of Islam has managed to cow most people into pretending to respect it when in fact it is only fear dressed up as respect. We all know what happens when Muslims get upset.

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    Why do you have to talk that way? Does it make you feel good?

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    This happened in Manchester, not the United States, so without knowledge of their laws on hate crimes I don’t think we can specifically say if it is a hate crime or not.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    You have no point, and are not helping.

  • Do you really think memes constitute evidence of some sort? If I’m unimpressed with your bigoted ranting, it’s not like a quote from Ricky Gervais will improve the situation.

  • Terrorist and immigrant aren’t races either, but obviously our discourse about terrorism and immigration is chock full of racism.

  • Freethinker

    No “Shem”, memes are not “evidence”, not sure where you got that idea. They are sometimes, as in this case, thought provoking encapsulations of reality. Like all other Muslim apologists you throw the term “bigot” and “rant” like you actually know what they mean. Unless you are able to argue the points you have issues with, intelligently and on verifiable facts, don’t bother engaging.

  • Right back atcha, amigo. If you’ve presented any “fact” here, it must have gotten buried under all the paranoid hyperbole and anti-Muslim bigotry.

  • Freethinker

    Once again, what specific facts are you challenging ? I asked you the same question a few days ago on a different “you are a bigot” post and got predictable crickets. Either point out the alleged factual inaccuracy or STFU.

  • Freethinker

    There is no “continuum”. That’s pure hyperbole from those who are incapable of distinguishing between satire (of ridiculous, life-sucking mythologies) and legitimate “crimes”. Your attempt at conflating the two is a total fail and borderline paranoid delusional. The type of behavioral state control you are advocating would not be out of place in George Orwell’s “1984”.

  • Chris Hogue