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Wednesday, 04 March 2015

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Carlisle man arrested after 'Koran burning' in city centre

A man has been arrested after he allegedly burned the Koran holy book and made an anti-Islamic speech yesterday in Carlisle city centre.

One eye witness who spoke to the News & Star described seeing the man standing in the city centre, near to the market cross, loudly making anti-Islamic pronouncements in front of a large crowd.

He then set fire to the book he was holding, which said the witness was a Koran, before discarding it and hurrying away.

Police arrived at the scene a short time later and are now investigating. A spokesman for the force confirmed that a man has been arrested.

The incident came just a day before a controversial American preacher, who had threatened to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in new York, was told he would barred from visiting the UK.

A spokesman for Cumbria police said today: “Just after midday on Wednesday, January 19, police received reports that a Koran was being burned by a man in Carlisle city centre.

“Police have seized the remains of the book and a 32-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of using racially aggravated threatening words or behaviour.

“The man remains in police custody where he is helping officers with their inquiries.”

Police confirmed that the man was arrested at his home address in Carlisle.

A woman who saw the book burning incident said: “There was a big crowd gathered in the city centre and he was basically burning the Koran in the middle of town.

“He was carrying the book around while it was burning and then threw it on the floor for a second and then left. He was shouting anti-Islamic comments.

“People were horrified. It was a bit shocking to see that in Carlisle city centre. The whole thing lasted about three or four minutes.”

Meanwhile, pastor Jones said today that he was disappointed to be barred from the United Kingdom, describing his exclusion from the country as “unfair”.

Speaking after the Home Office announced it would not allow him to enter the UK, he insisted he was not against Muslims or Islam, only the “radical element of Islam.”


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