EDL man with the mosque ‘boom!’ tattoo is arrested


by Sunny Hundal    
8:50 am - July 31st 2013

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Last week I tweeted a picture of a man with a tattoo of a mosque being blown up. We also ran it on Liberal Conspiracy.

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The picture and story was subsequently picked up by the Sun and Daily Mail – both asking who the man was.

The man – Shaun Reah – was eventually tracked down by Sky Tyne and Wear.

In the video he says he had the tattoo removed, “because it upset everybody”.

He also admitted that getting the tattoo was “a daft thing to do”.

Watch

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Police have now arrested him (ht Hope Not Hate).

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said:

A 39-year-old man has been arrested in South Tyneside on behalf of West Midlands Police on suspicion of using words or behavior, or displaying written material with intent to stir up racial hatred.

Photos of the tattoo were taken during an EDL demonstration in Birmingham on Saturday July 20.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Jesus. Only the libertarians can save us from our nation now.

1)Being anti-Islamic is not the same as being racist so the law quoted is inapplicable.

2)Displaying a cartoon image of a Mosque being blown up is not inciting violence any more than is, for example, the burning of a poppy.

3)When citizens are arrested for displaying tattoos which express their views we can be sure we are on a dangerous road. The next stage is to compel citizens to wear tattoos selected on their behalf……

Seriously, we’re now arresting people for having daft tattoos?

Actually, if this is the direction we’re going then I look forward to seeing the Police making arrests at the Home Office over #racistvan.

Fair’s fair after all.

5. George King

Probably arrested for his own safety before he completely colours himself in. The Zionist-supported EDL get dumber by the day.

A Islam isn’t a race,how can it stir up racial hatred,

5 king George, is being dafter,an arrest able offence!

Wow,our government are so obsessed with upholding political correctness it’s embarrassing. I mean look at the guy, clearly has the social intellect of a cat after hitting a tab of acid.

If anything merely displaying him in the media will do more for bringing rational to our largely ignorant nation then locking him up.

However this may well be the intention. For the media will only report on it if they arrest him, however I will be angry if this idiot is sentenced to prison for enticing racial hatred.

I don’t see the arresting of people for offensive tattoos as a step forward somehow.

Is this the same Sunny Hundal who makes great play of defending the freedom of speech rights of poppy-burners? The same Sunny Hundal who defends the ‘right’ of some extremists to enter this country – so long as they have brown skin – while campaigning against other ones – so long as they have white skin? The same Sunny Hundal who doggedly defends the terrorist-supporting, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-semitic East London Mosque as victims of ‘smearing’?

Yes it is. Fancy that.

You’ve long ago tied yourself in a knot about this, and you just keep drawing the knot tighter. Your position on whether or not people should be allowed to make stupid/horrible/inciting public political statements is determined purely according to ethnicity and/or religion.

Taken in isolation, this article is not unreasonable. Placed alongside your other posts, it just throws into relief once again the inconsistency of Sunny’s ‘principles’.

It would help if Sunny could finally decide where he thinks the limits of free expression should lie and try sticking to it, rather than moving the goalposts back and forth as he finds personally convenient.

11. the a&e charge nurse

I definitely want to live in a country with high rates of tattoo related arrests – well done to whoever put the spotlight on this enemy of the state.

Sunny, it’s not clear whether you are celebrating the arrest or just saying that it has happened. Do you agree with the arrest?

Boom – the lawyers will have a field day:

Verb

To make a loud, resonant sound.
To make something boom.
To speak with low pitch
To be prosperous.

Noun

(nautical) A spar extending the foot of a sail; a spar rigged outboard from a ship’s side to which boats are secured in harbour.
A movable pole used to support a microphone or camera.
A horizontal member of a crane or derrick, used for lifting.
(electronics) The longest element of a Yagi antenna, on which the other, smaller ones, are transversally mounted.
A floating barrier used to obstruct navigation, for military or other purposes; or used for the containment of an oil spill.
A wishbone shaped piece of windsurfing equipment.
The arm of a crane (mechanical lifting machine).
The section of the arm on a backhoe closest to the tractor.

14. the a&e charge nurse

[12] ‘Sunny, it’s not clear whether you are celebrating the arrest’ – well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess Sunny will not lose any sleep over the fact the state have become involved in deciding what tattoos are, or aren’t permissible.

I think the glut of EDL related posts which do their best to depict members as being right of the ‘Ahnenerbe’ is probably a bit of a give away?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnenerbe

This kind of political analysis is on par with the standards of artwork in the ‘controversial’ tattoo

“and guess Sunny will not lose any sleep over the fact the state have become involved in deciding what tattoos are, or aren’t permissible.”

Just wait till a case involving a tattoo or banner glorifying Islamist terrorism arises. Then Sunny will suddenly remember his principled commitment to freedom of speech etc. etc.

I’d like to see a definition of “liberal democracy” that includes this.

Or a definition of “police state” that doesn’t.

Dear god. I just watched the video. Are police tracking down those who have sent him death threats? Are the media satisfied for hounding him into hiding, then finding him again?

Is Sunny Hundal going to have a hard think about who, in class terms, are the power classes in our society?

I’d really like to hear Sunny Hundal talk about whether he thinks that sad little man is brimming with white privilege. Or whether it might be time to have a bit of a rethink on that issue.

18. George King

This guy is clearly a bit ill and is probably kept around because of his ability to do stupid things that amuse the EDL `troops’ when they are getting bladdered. He should not have been arrested any more than cartoons disliked by Islamists or those Steve Bell and Gerald Scarfe produced for the Guardian which pricked the ire of the Zionists should be banned. What is it with cartoons and Islamo and Ziofascists? There are plenty of people going round London with swastikas tatooed on their foreheads.

Actually the picture looks like it’s drawn on with a felt tip pen. Could be because it’s fresh. The fact that he had it done and who he associates with is correctly highlighted but I don’t think he can be ordered to have it removed by laser so if it is an offence it’s one he will be commiting for ever and life in prison is probably a bit much for being a fucking idiot.

Actually, if this is the direction we’re going then I look forward to seeing the Police making arrests at the Home Office over #racistvan.

I hate the #racistvan – but how exactly is a tattoo blowing up a mosque the same as Go Home?

PS Pagar, a guy WAS arrested for burning a poppy. You’re a bit slow aren’t you?
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/11/12/police-arrest-man-for-posting-picture-of-burning-a-poppy/

There were loads of people then saying ‘good, he deserved to get arrested’.

I believe it is very good that this man and his tattoo was picked up by some papers and that there has been outrage caused by the tattoo.

Personally I am concerned that it was an issue for the law because I worry about the freedom of speech issues.

The tattoo was truly appalling and clearly inciting violence however I feel that outrage expressed at the tattoo is enough.

I grew up in Northern Ireland as an out gay man and I am well used to expressions of hatred and violence against me, both in the media and expressed directly. Of course in those times there was no consideration for the victims in law and precious little in the media or in society at large.

I know that having violence and hatred directed at you in the general media is very powerful and damaging. Those that wish to belittle this tattoo have no understanding of this.

Those that are obsessed with the expressions of violence or real violence from extremists claiming to be Islamic might say “but we are all victims of that”, and of course we are, as a society. But in that case society at large unequivically condemns this, and as the terrorist actions and words are directed at the whole of society there is not a significant feeling of attack as an individual. In no way does that mean I wish to belittle the consequences of the terrorist acts or words, it is simply that I wish to identify how differently society experiences them.

If you are within a sub-group of society, and individuals within the greater society use the media to convey hatred or threats of violence towards you, then you do feel this very strongly. The problem is hugely magnified if the society at large does not condemn the expressed hatred or threats, if the society at large belittles the expressed hatred, then it is effectively supporting it.

However personally I have never wished for these expressions to become criminal activity, because I think that is too far, for me the ability to freely express yourself is more important than protecting people from the consequences of what might be expressed.

For me it is extremely important that our society at large condemns this man’s tattoo.

Didn’t you tweet this story about Pakistan today Sunny?

We live in an amazing country in which supposedly educated people like Aamir Liaquat preach in their honey laden voice that Islam is the most peaceful religion in the world and then go on making hate speeches against Ahmadis.

Minorities are persecuted in the bastion of Islam that our mullahs have created. Somehow, we as a nation are steadfast in the belief that the state of Pakistan is benevolent towards its minorities. Talk about the persecution that these minorities face starting from the constitution to the school textbooks and people will label you as anti Pakistan.

Women can date and marry according to their own will and this includes your female relatives (the last part infuriates them like anything). Somehow the 20-something on a date does not believe that his sister has the same rights as him. And this logic extends to family elders as well because in their patriarchal minds, killing their daughter would not shame the family name in the same way as if the same daughter went out on a date or married according to her choice.

(My emphasis)

And now you’re worried about a man with a tattoo?

As for the Vans –

Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime – legitimate visa applicants pay the price

@19 I hate the #racistvan – but how exactly is a tattoo blowing up a mosque the same as Go Home?

So you’ve discounted the possibility that the “boom” might refer to the number of Mosques that have been opened in the UK since, when 1960?

I think you’re right but certainly the period could be called a “boom in Mosque building”.

You might like to take some time out to study this ruling. – The Defendant, Guardian News & Media Limited, is the publisher of the Guardian online newspaper. It applies to strike out this libel action under CPR 3.4 and/or for summary judgment to be entered against the Claimant under CPR 24.2.

And now you’re worried about a man with a tattoo?

I’ve written up a short story on a man who we have featured before. It’s called ‘news’.

I understand such basic concepts may be difficult to understand, but this is a news and opinion blog… so we publish ‘news’. This usually means we report on events that take place and may be of interest to the blog’s audience.

I hope that clarifies some basic things :)

So you’ve discounted the possibility that the “boom” might refer to the number of Mosques that have been opened in the UK since, when 1960?

ROFL. I didn’t realise you were auditioning to be a comic. Even the man in question admits it was offensive.

I understand such basic concepts may be difficult to understand, but this is a news and opinion blog… so we publish ‘news’. This usually means we report on events that take place and may be of interest to the blog’s audience
—-

Unless the follow up and conclusion as far as the suspect of the case turns out to be from Ukraine as opposed to a member of the edl :lol:

as far as the suspect of the case turns out to be from Ukraine as opposed to a member of the edl

The two are not mutually exclusive. Sorry to burst your little bubble – there are plenty of far-right Eastern Europeans too.

26. Daley Gleephart

22.
What has a judgement against a plaintiff in the case that you hyperlink got to do with the article published above?

there are plenty of far-right Eastern Europeans too

Yea, as you were told, when you were being told to stop obbsessing over the edl…

28. Charlieman

@26. Daley Gleephart: “What has a judgement against a plaintiff in the case that you hyperlink got to do with the article published above?”

Nothing directly.

There is a wider relevance. Mrs Justice Sharp determined that she was unconvinced that a ‘He said, She said’ argument ought to be settled in court.

‘This is, it seems to me, a case in which there is no “realistic prospect of a trial yielding any tangible or legitimate advantage such as to outweigh the disadvantages for the parties in terms of expense, and the wider public in terms of court resources.”‘

As precedent, this case might encourage people to make outrageous accusations on blogs or elsewhere. But it will change following the Defamation Act, 2013.

Personally, I am going to express opinions as opinions rather than facts, and I’ll check my facts as best able.

29. Shatterface

Okay, lets imagine he hadn’t removed the tattoo himself already: he’d still be walking round with something illegal on his skin.

Would you have preferred to have it flayed from his with a cat o’nine tails or scorched off with a blowtorch Hell’s Angels style?

30. Shatterface

I’ve written up a short story on a man who we have featured before. It’s called ‘news’.

The original story wasn’t ‘news’ – but the fact the police have now arrested someone purely for the colours of his skin certainly is.

31. Shatterface

PS Pagar, a guy WAS arrested for burning a poppy. You’re a bit slow aren’t you?
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/11/12/police-arrest-man-for-posting-picture-of-burning-a-poppy/

There were loads of people then saying ‘good, he deserved to get arrested’.

Not you though: your judgement was The abuse of the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 is getting absurd. – and the entire article you wrote then was critical of the poppy arrest.

In contrast your post on the tattoo concluded Imagine if that were a Muslim with a tattoo (though it could also be paint) that advocated blowing up churches. He’d be picked up by the police within minutes.

See the difference? The first is in support of the Muslim protester’s rights, the second was condemnation of the EDL member and suggesting he should be arrested.

32. Charlieman

@29. Shatterface: “Okay, lets imagine he hadn’t removed the tattoo himself already…”

I think it is possible to put him under the needle again to colour in that tattoo.

How do we handle the bloke’s brain? How does society cope with a bloke like him? Can we imprison all of the blokes like him?

Or maybe we should acknowledge that liberal society also encompasses horrible people?

33. Shatterface

It doesn’t surprise me the site’s most antisemitic shit has weighed in with his Zionist conspiracy theories in total ignorance of what the Torah says about incising marks on the skin.

34. Shatterface

Just wait till a case involving a tattoo or banner glorifying Islamist terrorism arises. Then Sunny will suddenly remember his principled commitment to freedom of speech etc. etc.

In fairness to Sunny, he’s never had a principlined commitment to free speech.

He’s had a selective and opportunistic commitment at best.

35. Shatterface

I think it is possible to put him under the needle again to colour in that tattoo.

I can think of one famous state which applied ink and needles to undesirables by force but that was generally to apply numbers rather than cover up tattoos.

36. Daley Gleephart

28.
The case to which you refer was a civil lawsuit.

The article above states that the man was arrested on suspicion of an offence. There have been no reports that the man has been charged with an offence.

37. Charlieman

@36. Daley Gleephart: “The case to which you refer was a civil lawsuit.”

Acknowledged.

“The article above states that the man was arrested on suspicion of an offence. There have been no reports that the man has been charged with an offence.”

I was talking about how it may be pertinent to yack about court cases and accused people. Which, within UK law, may be difficult.

38. Charlieman

@35. Shatterface: “I can think of one famous state which applied ink and needles to undesirables by force but that was generally to apply numbers rather than cover up tattoos.”

Remember what I wrote: “Or maybe we should acknowledge that liberal society also encompasses horrible people?”

39. Daley Gleephart

37.
Until someone is charged with an offence that person is not accused under law and there is no court case pending.

40. Charlieman

A few foolish words may promote the contrary words which I seek.

“PS Pagar, a guy WAS arrested for burning a poppy. There were loads of people then saying ‘good, he deserved to get arrested’.”

Perhaps. But I wasn’t one of them.

You know, I have a consistent position on freedom of expression?

It is regrettable such a stance is beyond your understanding.

pagar: You know, I have a consistent position on freedom of expression?

*snort*

I think some of the ”shock” to people who think this is newsworthy, is because they don’t know much about the kind of people who would have such a daft tattoo.
The guy is clearly an idiot – as was the guy I remember from 30 years ago who had a homemade tattoo of a naked woman’s open legs and genitals drawn on his thigh.
It was a ”joke” and we all thought it was funny at the time. But the poor bloke was obviously a bit simple. He must have been.

So, some people don’t like Britain having a large and growing (conservative) muslim population. That’s totally to be expected. Of course there will be sectarian attitudes amongst the more lumpen sections of society. There always is. It’s basicly human nature.
There’s a lot ”wrong” in the wider muslim community.
Too many have gone down the road of seperatism and this political view of islam, which will always wind some people up. All the mainstream Muslim institutions in the UK are dominated by backward and conservative people and institutions (like the MAB) – so there’s always a lot of ammunition for the backward anti-jihad groups to feed off of.

But this story isn’t really ”news”.
Authortarianism is taking over.
See the story about banned words and phrases now at Liverpool FC.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/Liverpool_pc_youll_never_talk_alone/13873

44. Shatterface

pagar: You know, I have a consistent position on freedom of expression?

*snort*

Maybe instead of snorting you should give an example of pagar’s inconsistency – as I gave an example of yours.

You know, engage with debate instead of making animal noises.

So far no one has commented on the quality of his tattoo.
It’s far better than the blurred ones wrapped around his arm, throat and eyebrow. Indeed it’s not dissimilar to the logo of a discount record shop on Shaftesbury Avenue: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0b/Fopp.png

Undoubtedly the guy is a bit of a bozo – the other tattoos show that – however I would have thought we should be defending his right to be a petty minded lowlife rather than arresting him.

It’s only last week that the guy who tweeted a joke about blowing up an airport won his case and it was widely regarded that the police were foolish to have arrested him.

@ Sunny

pagar: You know, I have a consistent position on freedom of expression?

*snort*

On the very thread you linked to at 19 I wrote in the comments in support of the arrested poppy burner-

“Freedom of speech cannot be tempered by the opinion of the majority- it must be an absolute right or it is a meaningless concept.”

*whinny*

ps thanks Shatterface.

46.
Was the poppy burner charged with an offence as a result of the posting on Facebook?
Has tattoo man been charged with an offence as a result of his presence at a rally where the photo was taken?

48. the a&e charge nurse

[47] the arrest is somewhat secondary to the joie de vivre expressed by some over an increasingly authoritarian response to political discourse, or esoteric points of view.

The tattoo reminds us that not everybody studied PPE at Oxford.
Even so, in some peoples minds the principle of freedom expression must be sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.

If you can’t be good, the state will make it so – and if you can’t subscribe to this position then it arouses suspicion that you are a latent sympathiser with individuals who is being targeted.

We are sleep walking into a situation were the police decide who can and can’t walk along a London street while so called liberals cheer excitedly from the sidelines.

48.
You will always find the ‘hang ‘em and flog ‘em’ brigade spouting forth at the slightest of things and the police seem to jump into action whenever The Bun, Skew News and the Daily Fail run an inflammatory story about someone.
Mr Reah joins a long line of names who will in the minds of tabloid journalists, opportunist politicians and their followers be typical of the masses.

36. Daley Gleephart

The reason I posted the judgement was to highlight the fact that something posted on a blog – in this case the Giardian’s CiF, might get the writer tied up in all kinds of legal procedures.

If the tattoo could be taken to mean something other than an incitement to violence, it might not be wise to state this specifically.

As 28. Charlieman says – opinions and facts.

This is just wrong. Arresting people for a harmless tattoo.
What about those hundreds of muslims who were giving death threats to him? Is it okay to make death threats in this civilized society now?
What about those muslims who in real life actually bomb/burn down churches by the dozens every week?

52. Charlieman

@51. Jason: “This is just wrong. Arresting people for a harmless tattoo.”

Many people interpreted the tattoo to cause offence. Offence is personal harm, so it comes down to ‘arrestable offence’ in UK law. Take your chances accordingly.

“What about those hundreds of muslims who were giving death threats to him? Is it okay to make death threats in this civilized society now?”

I reckon, Jason, that you are a literate bloke. I think that you have already determined that it is wrong to utter death threats, even if you despise an individual’s politics or lifestyle.

“What about those muslims who in real life actually bomb/burn down churches by the dozens every week?”

Muslim versus Christian hatred is present in Africa (and elsewhere), which leads to burning of religious buildings. During the 50 years of my life, I cannot recall a church or synagogue destruction in the UK which might be ascribed to religious causes. For mosques, I must think because I know that mosques have been harmed.

Look on the bright side. In parts of London, Moslems and Jews work together to protect religious space:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/24/jewish-patrol-group-offer_n_3490383.html

Many people interpreted the tattoo to cause offence. Offence is personal harm, so it comes down to ‘arrestable offence’ in UK law.

What if someone becomes offended at the colour of your eyes?

54. Richard Carey

@ 52 “Many people interpreted the tattoo to cause offence. Offence is personal harm”

No it it not. This man’s tattoo has not harmed anyone, apart from himself, and as he did it to himself, there’s no crime.

Offence, in legal terms, is nothing but an arbitrarily defined catch-all for the police to use against anyone they feel like picking on. The only harm done here is the police action of depriving him of his liberty by force or the threat of force.


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