The trial of a mechanic accused of terror-related offences has been delayed so he can fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.Courts in Islamic countries commonly do not sit during this time, and the practice could become increasing common in the UK following the decision.
Taha Hussain, 21, is accused of downloading and distributing material glorifying the Paris terror atrocities, The Telegraph reports.
He is said to have sent WhatsApp files entitled: “Paris Outrage: A Muslim Perspective.” Another file entitled “Charlie Hebdo to Jagrity” was sent on the encrypted Telegram messaging service.
Appearing on Wednesday via videolink at Kingston Crown Court in London, Mr. Hussain denied the ten counts of disseminating terrorist publications brought against him.
A trial had originally been scheduled for 30 May, but was moved to a later date at the Old Bailey by Judge Paul Dodgson.
Judge Dodgson explained: “I only have to think about myself not eating or drinking for 19 hours. This is not to be taken as a precedent for all trials involving devout Muslims.
“The date was fixed administratively but no consideration had been made for Ramadan. I would not be confident for someone to stand trial if I looked up I thought he’s not fit to be here.”
He told Mr. Hussain: “Your trial is going to take place at the Old Bailey either on June 26 or perhaps July 10.”
The Charlie Hebdo attack saw al-Qaeda-linked militants shoot dead 10 journalists and two policemen in the magazine’s office in Paris in 2015 after the satirical publication printed a cartoon of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The month lasts 29–30 days and is due to begin on 26 May this year.
While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.