Islam attack pastor will not be charged

A religious leader who sparked on outcry when he branded the Islamic faith "evil" will not face prosecution.

Police launched an investigation after an outspoken attack on Islam by the Rev Dr Alan Clifford, 62, pastor of Norwich Reformed Church.

British National Party leader Nick Griffin has described Islam as a "vicious, wicked faith." Mr Clifford said he viewed the BNP as "abhorrent," but he agreed with Mr Griffin's views on Islam. He said Muslim leaders in Britain were not doing enough to combat the spread of Islamic fundamentalism or links to terrorists.

Norwich and Norfolk Racial Equality Council called for an investigation into whether his comments amounted to incitement to racial hatred.

Norfolk police yesterday confirmed they had investigated the case but said it had been decided no further action would be taken.

Officers spoke to Mr Clifford, whose church draws a handful of worshippers to services at Eaton Park Community Centre.

Kristina Raines, Norfolk police spokeswoman, said: "A file has been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration and the decision has been made not to take any further action against the Rev Dr Alan Clifford.

"All parties have been made aware of this decision."

The evangelical pastor, who is an associate member of Affinity, formerly the British Evangelical Council, said he is unrepentant about his remarks but insisted he was not racist.