UK: Christian hotel owners hauled before court after defending their beliefs in discussion with Muslim guests

By JONATHAN PETRE/Daily Mail

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Litigation Jihad against hotel owners

A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.

They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

The couple, whose trial has been set for December, face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if they are convicted.

Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

The Bounty House Hotel in Liverpool

Scene of ‘offence’: The Bounty House Hotel in Liverpool, where a Muslim guest was upset

Other News:

Jihad news: Suicide Watch

  • At least  twenty five people have died in a Taliban suicide bomb attack in Pakistan, according to the BBC. Another 21 people – chiefly African Union peacekeepers – have been killed in another suicide attack in Somalia, reports Voice of America. The Islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. What to do? Don’t worry about it. Just listen to our regular Islamo-troll solkhar, a self professed propaganda commissar for the ummah Islamiyah who keeps telling us there is no such thing as jihad…

It is understood that they suggested that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a warlord and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage.

They deny, however, that their comments were threatening and argue that they had every right to defend and explain their beliefs.

Mrs Vogelenzang, 54, who has run the Bounty House Hotel near Aintree racecourse in Liverpool with her husband Ben, 53, for six years, said:  ‘Nothing like this has happened to us before. We are completely shocked.’

She added that the episode had damaged their business and they had been forced to lay off staff and run the nine-bedroom hotel by themselves, leaving them exhausted.

Sources said that a number of guests staying at the hotel, which charges £92 a night for a double room, were having breakfast in its restaurant on March 20 when comments were made about religion.

One of those involved was the Muslim woman, who was staying at the hotel while she received treatment at a hospital nearby.

The couple, who are members of the Bootle Christian Fellowship, and their solicitor, David Whiting, said they could not discuss the content of the conversation for legal reasons. But the independent lobby group, the Christian Institute, which has seen both the prosecution and defence legal papers, is supporting their defence.

Mr Whiting, who last year successfully defended street preacher Anthony Rollins in Birmingham, said: ‘There is a dispute as to the facts of the allegations, but Ben and Sharon do not accept they were threatening, abusive or insulting.

‘They are committed Christians and it is the defence’s contention that they have every right to defend their religious beliefs and explain those beliefs to others who do not hold similar views.’

After the incident, the couple voluntarily attended St Anne’s Street police station in Liverpool, where they were interviewed under caution.

In July they were arrested and charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and Section 31 (1) (c) and (5) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

They appeared briefly at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Friday to hear the date of their trial before magistrates, and were granted bail on the condition that they did not approach any of the witnesses expected to appear.

The use by the police of the Public Order Act to arrest people over offensive comments has dismayed a number of lawyers, who say the legislation was passed to deal with law and order problems in the streets.

Neil Addison, a prominent criminal barrister and expert in religious law, said: ‘The purpose of the Public Order Act is to prevent disorder, but I’m very concerned that the police are using it merely because someone is offended.

‘It should be used where there is violence, yobbish behaviour or gratuitous personal abuse. It should never be used where there has been a personal conversation or debate with views firmly expressed.

‘If someone is in a discussion and they don’t like what they are hearing, they can walk away.’

He added that the police had a legal duty under the Human Rights Act to defend free speech ‘and I think they are forgetting that’.

A number of Church leaders in Liverpool have written to Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, voicing their concerns and pressing for the case to be dropped.

Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge said ‘important’ issues of religious liberty were at stake.

‘In recent years, we have backed several cases where Christians have suffered unfair treatment because of their faith,’ he said. ‘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 spokesman for Merseyside Police said: ‘It would be inappropriate to comment as this is an ongoing case.’

17 thoughts on “UK: Christian hotel owners hauled before court after defending their beliefs in discussion with Muslim guests”

  1. “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.” ( Mark 13:9 )

  2. Naturally, followers of the false prophet with banners reading “Jesus is
    the slave of allah” and “Europe you will pay your 9/11 is on its way” are routinely arrested and prosecuted under the same laws. No, apparently
    not – bye bye Britain…

  3. “A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: ‘It would be inappropriate to comment as this is an ongoing case.’”
    Well of course it would.
    ” inappropriate” the Lefts weasel word of the 21st Century, along with “Rascist” and “Islamaphobe” guaranteed to shut down immediately any discourse that you suddenly find yourself on the losing end of, whilst trying to defend the indefensible.

  4. Two issues here:

    “Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.” – I know that the blog owner will ensure that it is assumed that the Chrisitans (or Jews if the article has it) are innocent and that the Muslims must have provoked.

    The second is, probably the owners will not be found guilty, it appears to be all circumstantial and if I was the police officer when the accussation would be made, I would have questioned it harshly. It is this type of topic that the media in the UK (tabloid Murdoch journalism) loves – that is why they call them scandal rags.

    But getting back to the first one, I remember a number of cases in the north east of The Netherlands that was shown in an NLD3 program were a hotel had a sign above the reception, nicely printed – no Muslims welcome and then the journalist walked to the police station to ask (he was tipped off by a family) and found the same nicely printed sign above the reception counter within the police station. It was at the time 1992 a real scandal and if that is possible then it is also possible that the owner of the above place simply was a bigot.

    Thus though I still try and have confidence in the morales of individuals in the UK, it could be just as much a pure case of bigotry.

    1. Right Solker, you got it:

      1. “the Muslims must have provoked”- indeed, because they have a nasty habit of provoking…

      2. Attack the messenger: “the media in the UK (tabloid Murdoch journalism) loves – that is why they call them scandal rags.” (not to report it is better for the ummah, isn’t it?)

      3. “no Muslims welcome”- compare that with “no go zones” for local Brits. In France they have some 750 such Mohammedan occupied areas…

      4. “Bigotry?” Solker, anybody home? Guess how many times I have been turned back (or screwed) for being a kuffar during my travels in Mohammedania?

  5. Aussie said “” inappropriate” the Lefts weasel word of the 21st Century, along with “Rascist” and “Islamaphobe” guaranteed to shut down immediately any discourse ”

    I would add “apolagist”, “appeasist” being the Right’s words of the 21st Century to justify hate and to guarentee the maximum tension possible. Add to that the “taqiyya” escaple clause to be used when an argument does not go it way……..

  6. “It is this type of topic that the media in the UK (tabloid Murdoch journalism) loves”

    Take it up with “prince” alwaleed bin talal & tell him to pick up the
    phone & call Rupert & tell him to rewrite the story to give it more
    pro-muslim spin – or pull it completely.

  7. Solkhar the informer wrote “I would add “apolagist”, “appeasist” being the Right’s words of the 21st Century to justify hate and to guarentee the maximum tension possible.”

    When you are dobbing in preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
    what words do you use to justify your hate for Jesus Christ, the Son
    of God, and those who preach His gospel?

    Don’t lecture on the subject of hate, Solkhar. You are full of it, and
    time for islam and its hateful followers is running out, no matter
    what victories they achieve in battle or in the courts of the nations
    they seek to destroy from within.

  8. * 4. “Bigotry?” Solker, anybody home?

    I guess you didn’t make it into Makkah or Medinah, Sheik?

    Why such “bigotry” in islam, Solkhar? Is it based on the koran and the “teachings” of the false prophet, or just “cultural”? muslims are always claiming “rights” that they refuse to give to others, right Solkhar?

  9. Solkhar, Bigotry is alive and well in muslim lands – just ask the Asian women who work for what cannot be called anything more than arab scum in the middle east. It is very likely that the muslim woman caused offence (I have seen this before in other countries) but the real question is why have the CPS become involved. Someone needs to be removed from the CPS hierarchy, because it now appears, on evidence of cases that seem to have been ignored by the CPS, that someone in the CPS is now abusing the spirit of the law to their own ends. In any case the people of the UK should demand to know who is responsible and have them removed. If you do not stand up to this flagrant abuse of the spirit of the law, then you really are going to loose your country to these thugs.

  10. Kaw, there is a great deal of cultural bigotry in Muslim countries, I see it every day and there needs a lot of effort to combat it. But we are not talking about that here, now are we?

    We are talking about an event here and it is interesting how above the blog-owner is going to show other examples to somehow justify coming to a conclussion of defending the accussed without knowing the facts. Also, it is clear why he automatically assumes the Muslims are guilty. It is simply pathetic.

    It could very well be, but why does anyone presume anything, which is in fact one of the basis of the blog-Spencer-Gellar madness. Facts are needed only, not half-truths, assumptions and condemnations based on agendas. Like how Pam Gellar jumped up and down and said that Malcom X is the real father of Obama, the real reasons and motivations are more in question than the subject.

  11. Did it ever occur to you PEA BRAINED Solkhar that this is only a story because the Christians have been charged with an offense BECAUSE the Hypocritical Mohammedans raised a COMPLAINT and the dhimmie UK Police acted on THEIR complaint . The Daily Mail did not INVENT this story so your attempt to blame it on the MSM is just PEA BRAINED Taqqiya and hypocrisy as usual.

  12. Solkhar, I think that the story (which was reported in the UK) has a direct link to the lack of respect that many muslims have for other cultures. Simply put, these people bring that lack of respect into the UK and other European countries and this provides a justification for their behavior. You cannot separate a culture/religion that teaches/preaches no respect for others from the actions of people whose acts are guided by this culture/religion. Now, you should remember that what you understand by islam is not what the woman in question understands and that she will believe that her version is correct (Again, at some the level the lack of a central authority raises its head). However, I expect that from some muslims – and I just don’t bother listening. What I don’t expect is that the police actually give the claims of this person some credence. Now, court costs of >5000 pounds sterling are likely to financially cripple the couple concerned, however the muslim who is bringing this frivolous claim will end up paying nothing – the CPS in its infinite stupidity is proceeding with this prosecution (whilst actually abusing the law) and the British taxpayer will foot the bill. So while I see a link to the “anti-others” sentiment often displayed in the muslim world, the real concern is why the CPS have been able to get away with this abuse of the law and taxpayers money. The people in the UK should be very concerned about this case as there are rather serious implications related to freedom of speech etc. I would also say that Gellar and Spencer are very careful about that they write and I disagree to a large extent on your evaluations of their accuracy and motivations.

  13. My friends and I have been getting worried about the spread of islam in europe for some time. I saw the mobs of thugs at Harrow, and how the police could not control them. We no longer have the right to peaceful protest unlike the muslims – that was clear at Harrow. Now our stupid anti-freedom-of-speech laws are being used against us.

    The only UK party to address these issues is the British National Party. There are many things to dislike about the BNP (they’re anti-gay and against white people marrying non-white people). However, that is the only choice we have.

    I come from a large family who have supported anti-racist policies for the past 30 years. Last night I rang my sister and started to discuss my concerns. Within seconds she stopped me and said, “oh yes, everyone agrees with you”. She said that many people are prepared to vote for the BNP.

    So that’s how this will play out. Liberal anti-racists who want to defend women’s rights, free speech and freedom of religion will end up having to vote for a racist party that does at least defend the freedom of speech.

  14. Islam is not a race, being anti-Islam doesn’t make you racist.

    Keep in mind that you can reason with your own people, even those from the much maligned BNP, but you won’t be able to do that with the Mohammedans or the totalitarian Socialists .

  15. Solkhar the bigoted snitch wrote “Kaw, there is a great deal of cultural bigotry in Muslim countries, I see it every day and there needs a lot of effort to combat it.”

    Yes, Solkhar, you see it because you are part of it – bigoted against Jesus
    Christ and His gospel to the point that you run to the authorities and you
    know the rest. Did you get a reward?

  16. Kaw, yes that is also very possible, as we discussed in other threads the radical infiltration into the West has created a very nasty element that needs to be stopped. There was never a denial of that. But again, we have not all the facts about this particular case and there are also the radical bigoted local indeginous elements so it could be either element that is responsible.

    That is why I am not jumping to conclussions unlike those others on this thread that automatically assume the Muslims and presume because I said otherwise that I am blaming Christians when I am not.

    Certainly there is one factor that always turns up, like the riots in Birminghan, the UK has now agenda based factions from the bigot-based BNP, to radical Muslim groups to agenda-based anti-Islam groups and blogs as well as far-left willing to join or sabotage any of the above for point scoring. That these factions will ensure confusion and mistrust on what is the real story. Not to mention the simple fact that the blog-owner will only show those details that suit him – thus we will not know from him the true story if it proves to not be “the Muslim” fault.

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