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Bible pest to judge: ‘You are deluded’

Bible pest to judge: ‘You are deluded’

Noisy street preacher Michael Overd – accused of making homophobic and Islamophobic remarks  – had the audacity to tell Judge Shamim Qureshi in Taunton Magistrates Court yesterday that he ‘needed to be born again and that he was deluded’.

Judge Qureshi, an advocate of shariah law who is also the presiding judge of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, questioned Overd about mass murder in the Old Testament, and asked the Christian screecher  preacher if he would have a problem with other people preaching on other faiths in public.

Overd replied:

You are in dire trouble, you need to be born again, you’re deluded, I care for your soul.

Ironically, Overd, who apparently detests Islam as much as homosexuality, found himself before one of the few Muslim judges in England after he was arrested for alleged preaching hate against Islam and and gays on the streets of Taunton on two occasions last June and July.

He was cross-examined yesterday afternoon and agreed with Laura Searle, prosecuting, that a balance had to be struck between freedom of speech and the rights of people to live with dignity and without fear.

He said that he may well have used the phrase “God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve” to witness Darren Chalmers. Chalmers is a gay Christian.

But he disagreed that by using the first part of a Leviticus passage and not the second that he knew parts of his message on homosexuality might have been seen as threatening and abusive.

He added:

I do not set out to hate or make people upset.

Overd also denied being hostile to other religions.

I have no personal hatred. I have Muslim friends, we don’t agree on certain things. I have every right to bring facts to the table and compare them, I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.

Sgt Neil Kimmins from Avon and Somerset Police was also questioned. He told the court that the police had received over 20 complaints about Overd’s preaching and that they [the police]  had tried to meet with him to sort something out.

According to a BBC report,  Overd said he saw his role as a “town crier” to “proclaim the Bible”.

The court was shown Mr Overd’s various video recordings of his sermons and interactions with members of the public.

Speaking of an encounter with a passer-by, Overd said:

I felt quite threatened because he came so close to me, he was jumping back, dodging around and tried to grab the microphone. That’s why I want the police to protect me.

In 2012 Overd was acquitted of verbally abusing two gay men. His acquittal was a rare victory for the Christian Legal Centre, which hired a barrister to fight his case.

A verdict is due on March 23 at Bristol Crown Court.

15 responses to “Bible pest to judge: ‘You are deluded’”

  1. jay says:

    As obnoxious as this guy is, absent an actual threat, I hope free speech prevails.

    As has been pointed out, no one has the ‘right ‘ not to be offended.

  2. Robster says:

    This silly little fellow should be considered an ally of non-belief. Every time he opens his mouth and sprouts the infamous bigoted Christian nonsense, he exhibits to many just how atrocious it is. All those not afflicted with the god/Jesus nonsense would recognise the fellow as being a glowing example of just how silly and nasty the Christian dogma is.

  3. Great Satan says:

    What on earth is a judge who does not believe in our legal system, but in sharia law, doing presiding over our legal system ?

  4. Newspaniard says:

    @Great Satan. I totally agree. Has this man, in fact, been tried under sharia law? Did the CPS’s islamists collude with the judge on which common law would most fit the sharia cause?

    Paranoid of Spain.

  5. Angela_K says:

    On the occasional encounters I’ve had with these street preacher morons, I’ve found the best course of action is to shout back and laugh at them.

  6. barriejohn says:

    There was a similar case last week, as well:

    http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/latest-news/extreme-religious-leaflet-delivered-to-city-homes-1-6627395

    A judge should be impartial, whatever his personal beliefs. This accusation puts me in mind of Bob Hutton again, whenever anyone opposes his bigotry: “Satan has blinded you”!

  7. Angela_K says:

    Poor deluded potty Bob doesn’t know that his imaginary “satan” was a verb, translated from the Hebrew word meaning “adversary”.

  8. Angela_K says:

    Forgot to add that pottyhead Bob and a couple of his lunatic chums have posted their ignorance here: http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/11854288.Taunton_Street_Preacher_Michael_Overd_trial_finishes/

  9. Stuart W says:

    Amusing quote from Overd back in 2012 after he was found not guilty in the aforementioned similar case –

    ‘Something is wrong when Nick Lansley of Tescos can insult Christians by reading out an abusive poem on You Tube about homosexual acts on Christ; Abu Qatada can preach about Jihad and death to the Jews; but the police arrest me, a Christian preacher who cares deeply for Jesus Christ and the people of Taunton’

    Yeah, except that if a Christian is listening to somebody reading an ‘abusive'(!) poem like that on YouTube then they have gone to them, probably just to be offended. It is not forcing people in a public place going about their business to either stick in earplugs or listen.
    Abu Qatada was (hurrah) deported the next year after several arrests and court appearances.

  10. barriejohn says:

    He’s a piece of shit.

  11. Caute says:

    Absolutely totally 100% agree with this…’What on earth is a judge who does not believe in our legal system, but in sharia law, doing presiding over our legal system ?’ I want this dangerous precedent eliminated. In fact true justice can only really by meted out by a secular authority … you know someone unbiased, rational, reliable, trustworthy and capable of balanced careful analysis … which rules out anyone who holds religious belief. What a mockery of justice it is to think swearing on the bible compels anyone to tell the truth.

  12. JohnMWhite says:

    I agree as well regarding a judge who advocates a religious judicial system being completely inappropriate for the bench. Not to mention he is completely inappropriate to deal with this particular case. How could he possibly be impartial when the allegation before him is Islamophobia? Come to that given his faith’s clear teachings on homosexuality how can he be impartial on that charge either?

    Overd sounds like an obnoxious, duplicitous arsehole (“I didn’t set out to hate” my shiny metal ass) but why is he clogging up a court and why is he beholden to the religious whims of some other zealot?

  13. dave says:

    There are several issues here, not least of which is the right to free speech. I am offended by what most politicians say but I accept they have the right to say it. And yes, what they say and do does affect me and my quality of life so it’s not an academic argument.

    Secondly it appears that debates on morality etc are now the preserve of the religious. The defendant condemns homosexuality from his readings of the Bible. A point of view most moslems would agree with by the way.

    He is judged by a moslem judge who we learn believes in moslem shariah law. All this in a secular country which has proclaimed the right to freedom of though for a fairly long time. Something that many people thought was here to stay.

    Christianity is on the decline for a number of reasons, not least because the church is not as militant as it was a few hundred years ago. The church lost the battle with scientists and with secular political leaders in most of the christian world and has been relatively happy to lead a quiet life ever since.

    Islam is not like that as we can see from events around the world and of course here in Britain.

    We must be very careful about gloating over the fate of a christian street preacher because once they’ve all been dealt with I can assure everybody here that atheists, agnostics and ‘freethinkers’ will be next on the menu.

    What was it the poet said? ‘Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.’

  14. […] At an earlier hearing, he accused the Muslim judge of being “deluded”. […]

  15. […] At an earlier hearing, he accused the Muslim judge of being “deluded”. […]