Frazer keeps 'Muslim' pledge and insists
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
LOYALIST campaigner Willie Frazer has followed through with his pledge to attend court dressed as "a Muslim".
Mr Frazer attended Laganside Court in Belfast last Friday dressed in a long black robe, a skull cap, a fake beard, an eye patch and using what appeared to be a coat hanger as a hook for a hand.
The outfit was intended to resemble radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza who is currently awaiting trial in the US on terrorism charges.
He removed the outfit when he entered the courthouse.
The Markethill man, who faces six charges related to loyalist flag protests and the possession of a prohibited weapon, revealed to the Newry Democrat two weeks ago that he intended to attend court in the garb as a form of protest.
He claims one of the charges he faces, namely encouraging or assisting offences, was introduced "to deal with extremist Muslims".
"This law was brought in to deal with extreme creatures of hate, Muslim creatures who look to behead British soldiers," he told reporters outside the courthouse.
“The first man charged in the United Kingdom is a Protestant from Northern Ireland.
"There is something seriously wrong with the legal system. This was a good law but the police have made a mockery of it and it's an utter and total disgrace."
Speaking to the Newry Democrat on Monday, Mr Frazer said the response to his outfit had been "overwhelmingly positive".
“People have gotten in touch from all over to offer support. I've had people from the mainland, from the US and from Israel contact me to say they can't understand how a Protestant could be charged under this law," he said.
He also revealed that when he formally faces charges in court this Friday, he intends to plead not guilty.
“I will absolutely be pleading not guilty," he said.
“This whole case has been an attempt to demonise the victims and legitimise the republican cause and that's why it's so important we fight it."
He also added that plans to hold parades in Whitecross and Warrepoint are still very much on the cards.
“Those parade applications are definitely going ahead, make no mistake about it," he said.
“It's on hold until this is all over, because I can't attend parades at the moment and I wouldn't ask others to do something I can't do myself, but they are definitely going ahead, nothing has changed.
“The victims are worse off than they have ever been. We've seen all these inquiries coming from one side of the house and we're making clear, we want our inquiries too."
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