As Brendan points out "The judge’s actual words were that Fransen and Golding had ‘demonstrated hostility’ to ‘people of the Muslim faith’ in their harassing, obsessive campaign around that Kent rape case. That is, to Muslims." And yes, intimidating, harassing, assaulting, abusing people of Islamic faith or people of no faith is a crime and yes they were rightly convicted. What they were explicitly NOT convicted of, because it is not a crime in Britain, was 'hating Islam'.
In fact, 'hating Islam' is protected by law - specifically by Section 29J of the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act:-
29J Protection of freedom of expression
Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.However, in questioning whether crimes should be punished more harshly because they were religiously, or racially, or sexually motivated, Brendan O'Neill raises a cogent and compelling point - has the law got this wrong? If I get the shit kicked out of me because some thug thinks I'm an arse, should he be treated more leniently than if he was triggered because I was a white arse, or a Catholic arse? My injuries are no different, but the law says that if I have no protected characteristic, my body, my safety, my protection is less worthy than another citizen - how can this possibly be right?
What is of equal concern is that police, councils, schools, MPs and journalists are misrepresenting the law in order to convince the public that hating Islam is thoughtcrime. It really isn't. Personally, I regard the Muslim faith as an empty, primitive and worthless belief system, with no redeeming features, that hinders people from progress and from betterment. I think the world would be a better place without it. And I can say all that quite, quite legally. And since British law on these things had to be made in line with all relevant European rights legislation, I can say it quite legally anywhere in Europe. So there.