After her husband former Prime Minister Tony Blair declared secularists to be an equal or greater danger than terrorists (here), his wife Cherie Booth is under fire for granting leniency to a man accused of criminal assault because he is religious. Her statement in court would suggest that, if the man were an atheist or agnostic, such leniency might not be appropriate.
Shamso Miah, 25, of east London broke a man’s jaw following an argument in a bank line. Sitting as a judge, Booth granted a suspended sentence based at least in part on the fact that he was religious. Miah had just been to a mosque when he broke the jaw of Mohammed Furcan. Booth noted that Miah had no prior record and was religious as the basis for the leniency, adding “You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour.”
It is astonishing to see such reliance on claimed religiosity as a basis for leniency. However, some judges in this country have ordered felons to church (here) and some religious parents receive lighter sentences when they kill their children in the name of God, here. What if Miah was an athiest? If it would not matter, why state religiosity as an express mitigating factor?
For the full story, click here.