Northern Ireland: First Minister forced to apologise after backing pastor who said Islam was a satanic religion

Pastor James McConnell sparked fury after claiming Islam was “spawned in hell.” But his right to criticise religion was defended by the First Minister Peter Robinson

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson was backed by Muslim leaders after making a grovelling private apology over controversial remarks about Islam.

The DUP leader publicly backed a fundamentalist preacher who attacked Islam as a “doctrine spawned in hell” and said he did not trust them.

Robinson said he would not trust Muslims to give him religious advice – but insisted he would be okay with them “going down the shops” for him.

Robinson said: “I wouldn’t trust Muslims who are following Sharia Law to the letter and neither would he.

However, as I have said in many of the normal daily activities of life, I would have no difficulty in trusting Muslims to go down to the shop for me.”