Why was this man who wanted to 'kill a Muslim' and be a 'martyr' not called a terrorist?

23rd November 2017   •   article

by Barfi Culture Team | Twitter: @barfi_culture.
Credit: London Metropolitan Police
A 24 year-old man who wanted to be a "martyr for England" and to "kill a Muslim" was jailed for two years and 3 months at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday.

Mickey Sage was arrested in June 2017 in Camberwell Green, south London, and admitted to two counts of threatening a person with a knife in a public place.

The court was told he pulled a 10-inch knife on people, demanding to know if they were Muslim. He told the arresting officer, "it was my knife and I was out to kill a Muslim."

Notably, Sage was not labelled a 'terrorist' in the media even after his conviction, when reporting is no longer prejudicial to a trial. Nor was he tried under anti-terror legislation.

Fiyaz Mughal OBE, founder of the hate-monitoring group Tell MAMA, told Barfi Culture this case had "all of the hallmarks of extremism" and yet it was not treated as such.

"You do not want to harm 'an imam' or Muslims unless you have come across extremist anti-Muslim material and there is some relevance to an anti-Muslim meme on his social media accounts. So there is a potential link to motivation and we know his intention and capability," he says.

"This case highlights a desire to cause fear and intimidation to Muslims through the targeting of this group of people. How is this not terrorism is the question that comes to mind."

Sage claimed he would be "a martyr for England" and wanted to stab an imam in the neck. He was also recorded making several comments against Muslims and accepted the incident was religiously aggravated.

There is no agreed definition of terrorism, however it is generally accepted as an ideologically or politically motivated act of violence against a specific community or group of people. Sage fits that description.

Even the police statement pointed out he deliberately targeted Muslims.

DC Samuel Cafferty from Southwark CID told the press after the sentencing: "Sage set out with a large knife with the clear intention to find Muslims to stab. Hate crime like this has no place in any society. Sage poses a very clear and present danger to members of the public, particularly the Muslim Community and I'm pleased that he now has plenty of time to consider his actions."

But newspapers avoided any such implication. The Daily Mail called him "a thug" while the Evening Standard labelled him a "knifeman". Would it be the same if he was Muslim?
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