A protest in London against the publication of a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist incensed an Aberporth man, who painted an anti-Muslim slogan on a white sheet and draped it over his garden fence.
The words in bold red paint stated: "Kill all Muslims who threaten us and our way of life. Enoch Powell was right."
Father of two Gary John Mathewson, who was arrested for displaying the banner, told a court: "This won't stop until there is a Muslim president in the White House."
And referring to MP Jack Straw questioning whether Muslim women should wear face veils he asked: "Are you going to arrest him?"
When prosecutor Maggie Hughes pointed out that the banner did not mention extremists Mathewson said: "That's what I meant by those who threaten us and our way of life.'"Adding that during the protest in London a Muslim was dressed as a suicide bomber he asked: "Why was he not arrested?" (He was, later - LT)
One of his neighbours, a retired Army officer with 23 years service, told the court he reported the matter to the police because he feared a visit from Muslim extremists.
Mathewson, aged 35, of 79 Brynglas, Aberporth, who was represented by Colin Taylor, pleaded not guilty to a charge of religiously aggravated disorderly conduct in February this year.
Complainant Ian Pennington said the banner was pointed out to him by his coalman, and he later went for a closer look and wrote down the words.
Replying to Miss Hughes he said: "I thought it was stupid and a rather silly and ridiculous thing to do.
"This could have come to the attention of Islamic extremists, and we could have had a visitation," he said.
Pointing to the Twin Towers incident in New York Mr Taylor told the witness: "When three and a half thousand people are killed in Manhattan and elsewhere is it not acceptable for a reasonable man to protest.
"I put it to you that you were not particularly perturbed. If you were you would have ripped the banner off the fence," he said.
Finding Mathewson guilty presiding magistrate Anne Rees said she and her colleagues felt the words on the banner were likely to cause someone distress, and they did not find it as reasonable.
The defendant was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £150 costs.
Before leaving the court the defendant and Mr Pennington shook hands.
Hmm. I remember when retired Army officers were more choleric and less easily intimidated, but let it pass. Mr Conway also mentions the arrest by police of a man collecting signatures for an anti-veil petition - because he was wearing a balaclava.
VEIL DEMO BY DAD IN BALACLAVA
The landscape gardener claimed he had 200 signatures backing the ex-Foreign Secretary's request for Muslims to remove veils when talking to him.
Hmm - again. You can just imagine someone being arrested for wearing a veil, if it "upset members of the public", can't you. The 'upset' people would probably be the ones who were arrested. Mr Scott should have claimed to be wearing the traditional religious garb of Catholics from Crossmaglen.
Mr Conway then quotes some remarkable statements made by Enoch Powell in 1976. He seems to have been bang on the money. I'll let the quote speak for itself.
‘The nation has been, and is still being, eroded and hollowed out from within by the implantation of large unassimilated and unassimilable populations … in the heartland of the state. … The disruption of the homogeneous “we”, which forms the basis of parliamentary democracy and therefore of our liberties, is now approaching the point at which the political mechanics of a “divided community” take charge and begin to operate… The two active ingredients are grievance and violence.
‘There is one factor which not yet been injected. That factor is firearms and explosives… with the escalating and self-augmenting consequences which we know perfectly well from experience in … other parts of the world. I do not know whether it will be tomorrow, or next year, or in five years: but it will come.
‘At first there will be horrified astonishment, and inquiry as to what we have done wrong that such things should be happening. Then there will be feverish endeavour to find methods to allay the supposed grievances which lie behind the violence. Then follows exploitation by those who use violence of the ascendancy they have thus gained over the majority and over authority. The things goes forward, acting and reacting, until a position is reached in which … compared with those areas, Belfast today will seem an enviable place’.