Hotelier couple charged for ‘insulting’ Muslim

From The Telegraph U.K. and The Daily Mail

Christian hoteliers charged with insulting Muslim guest

A Christian couple who run a hotel have been charged with a criminal offence for allegedly insulting a female Muslim guest about her beliefs.

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By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Published: 9:30PM BST 19 Sep 2009

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang are charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act – causing harassment, alarm or distress. If convicted, they face fines of £2,500 each and a criminal record.

The Muslim woman was staying at the Bounty House Hotel in Liverpool, which is run by the Vogelenzangs, when a conversation arose between the hoteliers and their guest about her faith.

It is understood that among the topics debated was whether Jesus was a minor prophet, as Islam teaches, or whether he was the Son of God, as Christianity teaches.

Among the things Mr Vogelenzang, 53, is alleged to have said is that Mohammad was a warlord. His wife, 54, is said to have stated that Muslim dress is a form of bondage for women.

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The conversation, on March 20, was reported by the woman to Merseyside Police. Officers told the couple that they wanted to interview them over the incident.

After being questioned on April 20, they were interrogated again three months later before being charged on July 29 with a religiously-aggravated public order offence. They appeared in court on August 14 and are now awaiting trial.

Mr and Mrs Vogelenzang do not accept that they were threatening or abusive in any way. David White, who is representing them, said that they believe they have the right to defend their religious beliefs.

Their case is being funded by the Christian Institute, which has backed a number of Christians in legal disputes.

A spokesman for the Institute said: “We are funding Ben and Sharon’s defence because we believe important issues of religious liberty and free speech are at stake.

“In many instances we have detected a worrying tendency for public bodies to misapply the law in a way that seems to sideline Christianity more than other faiths.”

A police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that Benjamin Vogelenzang and Sharon Vogelenzang, both of Fazakerley, were charged with a religiously-aggravated public order offence on 29 July 2009. This follows an incident on 20 March 2009.”

13 Replies to “Hotelier couple charged for ‘insulting’ Muslim”

  1. I was getting ready to e-mail this story to you guys, just in case you’d missed it, when I found it here too.

    Liverpool… The city that once gave us the musical boundary-shattering Fab Four now gives us mandatory respect for the pedophile warlord, the epitome of inbred bedouin savage perfection peddled by primitive tapeworms from the A-rabian Peninsula as THE messenger of God… When we all know that allah is merely the imaginary alter-ego of that also imaginary child-molester. Ali Sina couldn’t have described that very alter-ego worshipped by mahoundians any better when he wrote:

    The fact is that Muhammad was a liar. He could not say, I want power, I want money, I want women and I want you to worship me and obey me. So he invented a deity who was none but his own alter ego and made him tell the foolhardy people to obey Muhammad and do his bidding. So he’d say, fight for Allah and his messenger, bring the booty to Allah and his messenger, the prettiest girls captured in the raids belong to Allah and his messenger. he made Allah responsible for all his crimes and by making himself his partner he enjoyed all the loot. I assure you Allah never saw a dime of those loots. It all went to the coffers of this bogus prophet.

    Would really an all powerful god need the help of humans to kill his detractors? If Muslims only thought about this question alone they would leave Islam. Alas this fear that their psychopath prophet has has placed in them is so strong that they are rendered incapable of thinking. The god of Muhammad is a fabrication of his sick mind. He is a psychopath like Muhammad who created him.

  2. This is political correctness gone mad
    How is it when Jews and christians are insulted in the most outrageous manner, with posters, banners and verbal abuse that the police and DPP seem to sit on their hands and say there is not enough evidence to prosecute.

  3. Some questions:
    1) Why were Muslims staying at a Christian-run hotel?
    2) Why did the hoteliers let them stay?
    3) Why did they argue with each other about their beliefs?
    4) Why has all this become public?

    I know thew answers. Do you?

  4. A_ki
    It would only be relevant to mention if anything were said by the Muslim guest regarding Christianity if it were a level playing field. It is not. It’s not a matter of convenience via the messenger as much as it has become a matter of societal truth: Muslims can say what they want of Christianity without the fear of law-fare; a Christian obviously is not afforded the same right.

    This is an example of an obvious smack-down, of soft jihad, of Islamist legalize. Had the hoteliers not said a word and instead offered a stuffed pork roast for dinner would the situation be any different? I think not.

  5. WAKEUP
    The Muslims stayed at the hotel because they chose to. The hoteliers let them check in because they chose to. They both chose to argue about their beliefs because apparently in an open society they should be able to do so. It is public because reporters /journalists cover stories that are relevant to the day, and this one is, whether some feel otherwise.

  6. One more thing: I like the photo of Benjamin and Sharon Vogelenzang. She is walking with him and they are holding hands in public. How Christian of them.

  7. A-ki, Sorry, I misunderstood your comment. You’re absolutely right–too many writers have been cajoled into bending to Muslim sensitivities. I’m not surprised by the neglect.

  8. Trackback from missmarprelate.blogspot.com

    “Whatever happened to “If you are offended, just walk away”? Whatever happened to the right to evangelize? Whatever happened to all those nice people who assured us that laws against evangelism were only delusions in the mind of paranoid right-wing conspiratorial nutcases who indulged in illegal vegetation? If it comes to that, whatever happened to equality under the law? Because I dare any British Christians to try using this against, for example, Richard Dawkins. “

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