London man given suspended sentence over anti-Semitic posters

Man handed 12-month suspended sentence, fined £100 for sticking anti-Semitic posters outside Chabad synagogue in east London.

Elad Benari ,


A man has been handed a 12-month suspended sentence for sticking anti-Semitic posters to the outside of a Chabad synagogue in east London.

Shehroz Iqbal, 27, pleaded guilty to displaying written material that is “threatening, abusive or insulting, intending thereby to stir up racial hatred”, contrary to the Public Order Act, reported The Jewish Chronicle.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday he was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, 30 days’ rehabilitation activity, 60 hours of unpaid work and a £100 fine for breaching a previous sentence, according to the report.

On the evening of March 17, 2017, Iqbal, who was dressed in camouflage and a hoody, taped the posters to the walls of an underpass near Gants Hill underground station, in Redbridge, east London.

A member of the public then saw Iqbal, of Kenwood Gardens in Ilford, walk towards the nearby Chabad Lubavitch Centre, to which he attached more anti-Semitic posters.

By the time officers arrived he had already fled, but the posters were removed and “forensically examined and subsequently linked to Iqbal,” police said.

Detectives arrested him at his home the following March. He admitted the offenses during police questioning.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said, according to The Jewish Chronicle, “The slogans on the posters Iqbal was displaying were clearly intended to stir up racial hatred towards the Jewish community.

“The Met is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and this investigation shows our determination to pursue those who seek to sow racial hate and division within London’s communities. I want to reassure the Jewish community, and indeed, all of London’s communities, that we take such offences extremely seriously and will strive to identify and bring those responsible to justice,” he added.

In August, the Community Security Trust (CST) released a report which found that a record number of nearly 900 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the United Kingdom for the first six months of 2019.

The report found that the 892 incidents reported in the first half of 2019 is the highest number recorded in that six-month period and is a 10 percent increase from the 810 incidents recorded during the same period in 2018.

Almost two thirds of the 892 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.

CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. In February, it released its 2018 report which found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom rose to 1,652 in 2018, marking a new record for the third straight year.

In the first half of 2017, the Jewish community of the United Kingdom recorded 767 anti-Semitic attacks. CST that year decided to publish a six-month report, in addition to its annual report, because of the unusual volume of incidents.

In 2016, CST found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose by more than a third compared to 2015.