Six men from Tyneside in north England have been arrested after a video of them burning copies of the Koran found its way onto the internet.
They were arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. In the United Kingdom the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes publication of material that incites racial hatred an arrestable offence. Plans by US preacher Terry Jones to burn copies of the Koran on the 9th anniversary of 9/11 resulted in worldwide condemnation.
Two of the men were arrested on Sept 15, and four more were arrested yesterday (Wednesday). In the video a group of men appear to be seen pouring petrol over copies of the Koran and setting light to them.
Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council said:
The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not representative of our community as a whole. Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations
All six were questioned on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred and were released on police bail pending further enquiries reports the Northern Echo.