British man who burned Holy Quran jailed for ‘theatrical bigotry’

LONDON: A convicted racist who burned a Holy Quran in front of city centre shoppers in Carlisle, north west England, has been jailed for 70 days after a judge described the act as “theatrical bigotry”. Andrew Ryan stole a copy of the holy book from Carlisle Library and then set it on fire with a lighter as a crowd gathered to hear his protests in front of a monument. Police arrested Ryan shortly after the lunchtime incident on January 19 this year, reports British media.Sentencing him at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “This is a case of theatrical bigotry. It was pre-planned by you as you stole the book deliberately. You went out to cause maximum publicity and to cause distress.”The court heard the defendant had six public order convictions between 2002 and 2010 including racial chanting at a football match and assault with intent to resist arrest.Ryan pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment and theft at an earlier hearing. – APP