British hoteliers received violent threats over Muslim ‘insult’, lives in shambles

From The Telegraph U.K.

Christian hoteliers received violent threats over Muslim guest ‘insult’

Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang received hate mail after they were accused of insulting a Muslim guest because of her faith.

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Published: 2:34PM GMT 12 Dec 2009
Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang have received hate mail after they were accused of insulting a Muslim guest because of her faith.

The Vogelenzangs have five adopted children, including one who is a Muslim Photo: MERCURY

The couple said they have been “living a nightmare” since they were charged in July with a “religiously-aggravated” offence of causing harassment, alarm or distress.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the couple have told of their relief at being cleared of insulting Ericka Tazi, a Muslim woman who was staying at their hotel.

They said that they had suffered emotionally and financially since the prosecution began, received threats warning they would be attacked and nearly lost their business due to an 80 per cent decline in takings at their nine-bedroom hotel, the Bounty House in Aintree, Liverpool.

“The last nine months have been a nightmare for us,” said Mr Vogelenzang.

“We’ve been drained emotionally and financially. We have, sadly, received some threats and hate mail. That has been upsetting.

“Our business has almost been destroyed.”

Mrs Tazi, who converted to Islam 18 months ago, stayed at the couple’s hotel in March. She claimed they asked her if she was a murderer and a terrorist after seeing her wearing a hijab. She also alleged that Mr Vogelenzang called the Prophet Muhammad a murderer and a warlord and likened him to Saddam Hussein and Hitler.

The hotel had been reliant for much of its business on a local hospital, which routinely referred outpatients to stay, but hospital chiefs put a stop to this once they heard about the court case.

The couple said that they had been encouraged by the support of Christians from around the world, some of whom sent them financial donations.

The Vogelenzangs have five adopted children, including one who is a Muslim. They have put their names forward to foster other Muslim youngsters, and stressed that they were not Islamaphobic.

However, they said that they are concerned that their ordeal suggests that people are losing their freedom of expression, and they criticised the police for prosecuting them.

“We are unhappy that the police pursued this case with such enthusiasm, and we feel the law needs to be clearer about free speech,” said Mr Vogelenzang.

“We are delighted that our legal system eventually came to the right decision, but we regret that it came to court at all.

“We are glad that we live in a country which has free speech. Many people have given up their lives in the last century to protect those freedoms. It seems such a shame that we appear to be losing our liberty.”

They said that they forgave Mrs Tazi despite the stress caused by her claims and her alleged insults against Christianity.

“We have no ill feelings for Mrs Tazi and we are looking forward to getting on with our lives. We wish her all the best,” said Mr Vogelenzang.

Richard Clancy, the district judge at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, dismissed the case, which had been brought under the Public Order Act.

The judge explained that the Muslim convert’s claim that she was verbally abused for up to an hour had not been backed up by other witnesses. He also said the language Mrs Tazi used in the exchange “did not quite form the same religious view” that was put to him on the stand.

4 Replies to “British hoteliers received violent threats over Muslim ‘insult’, lives in shambles”

  1. quote: “He also said the language Mrs Tazi used in the exchange “did not quite form the same religious view” that was put to him on the stand.”

    Counter sue for libel.

  2. God bless this wonderful couple. Another business suffering under the legal jihad. Previously a hairdressing salon went through the same kind of legal jihad. So twice in the UK we have seen attempts to destroy a business and ruin people by the hijabed ones. If you own a business and one comes in just remember say little or nothing as there is Danger! A hijabi is about.

  3. Well, the case is clear.
    The culprits are not Muslims, they do what they should do in Dar al-Harb, land of war, Islam and called the areas where Muslims do not dominate and rule. In Dar al-Harb are in a subgroup called Dar el-Suhl.
    Caterers should have been more astute and more cautious, let’s say something less Christian nerds in a country where Muslims are recognized and respected accordingly to their status and by the three branches of state citizens should take care of ourselves.
    How to do it?. To begin recognizing the enemy both foreign and national levels and for them we must first know and learn more.
    “About who? . Islam has its foundations in the Koran and the tradition and they are written, multiculturalists also have their own written sources.
    For what?. The objective is clear. Safeguard and defend the freedoms to reestablish democracy, true multi-ethnic plural society should not be in any way a multicultural society. Islam and multiculturalism are undemocratic, they hate freedom, some from a cultural perspctiva uncivilized and others from a Marxist view of inheritance where we are all world citizens and therefore equal.
    So what can we do for this marriage? first support with money to defend them on the consequences of their kind talk with a warrior of Islam, a jihadist in Dar al-Harb.

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