london protest 298.88.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
A man who led protests against the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday denied calling for the murder of Danish and US citizens.
Prosecutors have told the trial of Umran Javed, 27, that he attempted to rally the crowd at the Feb. 3 demonstration to launch attacks against the United States and Denmark with the words, "Bomb, bomb, Denmark, bomb, bomb USA."
Javed, from Birmingham, central England, acknowledged the words but denied charges of soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred.
He told London's Old Bailey court on Wednesday: "I regret saying these things. I understand the implications they have but they were just slogans, sound bites.
"I did not want to see Denmark and the USA being bombed."
Javed said he had been disappointed with himself but had got caught up in the emotion of the moment.
"Never, ever did I have in my mind to threaten anybody, any nationality. Never did I intend to discriminate against any particular race," he said.
In November another protester was convicted of stirring up racial hatred at the same demonstration. Mizanur Rahman, 23, was also accused of inciting murder, but the jury deadlocked on that count.
The protests followed the publication, in Danish and other European newspapers, of cartoons that depicted the prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban, clutching a dagger, or berating a group of suicide bombers.
The protesters in front of the Danish Embassy in London carried placards with slogans such as "Europe, your 9/11 will come," "behead the one who insults the prophet," and "be prepared for the real Holocaust."