Mosque threat man avoids prison

Neil MacGregorA Derbyshire man who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque has been sentenced to three years’ probation.

Neil MacGregor, 36, had also said he would execute a Muslim a day unless all of Scotland’s Mosques were closed. He made the threats after watching an internet video of a British hostage being beheaded in Iraq.

Sheriff Andrew Mackie said he did not believe custody would help to address the root cause of MacGregor’s problem which was his mental health.

At an earlier hearing, MacGregor, from Melbourne, Derbyshire, admitted a racial breach of the peace. He telephoned and e-mailed Strathclyde Police to make the threats from a flat in Glasgow, between 30 January and 15 February 2007. The court heard that the e-mail read:

“I’m a proud racist and National Front member. We as an organisation have decided to deal with the current threat from Muslims in our own British way, like our proud ancestors. Our demands are very small. Close all mosques in Scotland. If our demands aren’t met by next Friday, we’ll kidnap one Muslim and execute him or her on the internet, just like they did to our Ken Bigley.”

MacGregor then followed up the e-mail with a call threatening to blow up Central Mosque.

Muslim leaders criticised the way MacGregor’s case was dealt with by the police and courts. Osama Saeed, of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, said he believed that if a young Muslim had similarly threatened violence after viewing videos from Iraq, he would have been dealt with completely differently by the police.

BBC News, 7 August 2009

See Scottish Islamic Foundation press release, 7 August 2009

Update:  See also Inayat Bunglawala’s piece at Comment is Free, 8 August 2009

Update 2:  See “Former soldier who issued mosque bomb threat jailed”, BBC News, 6 April 2011