The National Secular Society has welcomed a court’s ruling that Northern Ireland Pastor James McConnell is “not guilty” for a sermon he uploaded online that was critical of Islam.
NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans described the ruling as a “welcome reassertion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.”
He added, “While we and many others disagree strongly with the tone and content of the Pastor’s remarks, a heartening and broad coalition of groups have stood up for his right to express his views.
“At a time when freedom of speech is being curtailed and put at risk in any number of ways, this is a much needed statement from the judge that free speech will be defended and that Islam is not off-limits.
“While we welcome the ruling, serious questions remain about the PPS’ decision to pursue this case, particularly given that it was brought about after a complaint from a man who had to retract his praise for the Islamic State’s rule.”
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