A shopkeeper accused of tweeting in support of Islamic State has told a court the fundamentalists would strongly disapprove of him selling alcohol.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A shopkeeper from Birmingham accused of tweeting in support of Daesh (ISIS/IS) has told a court the fundamentalists would strongly disapprove of him selling alcohol.
Zahir Khan, 40, of Salisbury Street, Sunderland, has admitted a series of offences after posting abuse about Shia Muslims and encouraging acts of terror.
The father of one, originally from Birmingham, has admitted the offences, some of which were religiously aggravated, on the basis it was reckless.
But the prosecution did not accept that basis and a hearing of the facts is being held at Newcastle Crown Court.
Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution say that the defendant intended to encourage the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
“He maintains for his part he was merely reckless.”
Khan shared messages on social media saying “death to shia Muslims ... death to every single one of them”, describing them as “dirty and filthy ***** scum” and calling for them to be burnt alive.
He has also admitted tweeting on January 2, 2017: “Welcome to the year of fear, IS will make this one the deadliest ever. Mr Kuffar (non-believers) prepare for real war.”
In March last year he posted on Facebook a statement about martyrs and the flag associated with IS.
Following his arrest at his convenience store, police found pro-IS videos on his computer.
After serving four years in jail, Khan moved to Sunderland to make a break from his “lifestyle”, gangs and crime in Birmingham, the court heard.
Khan told the court he had an “excellent business” running the shop and he came to feel accepted by locals.
He had relationships with a series of women who were not Muslims, he said.
In 2016, he felt Shia Muslims were his “enemies” but he was “impartial” about non-Muslims.
Robert Dacre, defending, asked if he was an IS supporter, and Khan replied: “I never believed it, I never supported them.
“I may have come across inadvertently supporting them. I am not pro-IS, I know given half the chance they would kill some non-Muslims.
“I know in their eyes I should know better, as a Muslim, than selling alcohol.”
The hearing continues.