Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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Muslim who complained about James McConnell sermon wants to meet him

Sat 09 Jan 2016
By Marcus Jones

The man who asked police to investigate a sermon by Pastor James McConnell, which ended up going to court, has said he's willing to meet the preacher.

Dr Raied Al Wazzan, who was until recently the treasurer of the Belfast Islamic Centre, took offense to him suggesting that Islam was 'satanic' and 'heathen'.

He and a number of others complained after the sermon was posted online back in May 2014.

Pastor McConnell was subsequently charged, but this week was found not guilty of using grossly offensive remarks.

According to the BBC, Dr Al Wazzan said: "To say that you don't trust all Muslims, that was what was unacceptable for us.

"We have lots of doctors, teachers working in this country and if you don't trust them, that's going to create discrimination against them.

"Yes, I am willing to meet him and discuss some of these issues in private... away from the media."

"If he trusts me, I will shake his hand."

Speaking after he was acquitted, Pastor McConnell said his only regret about the whole case was that the Muslim community thought that he was out to hurt them

"There was no way I was out to hurt them - I wouldn't hurt a hair on their head," he said. "But what I am against is their theology and what they believe in.

"If there are Muslims out there, I want to assure them I love them and, if they need help, I am there to help them, but their theology and their beliefs I am totally against them."

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