A Dundee publican is facing a potential police inquiry over “hate speech” and has been targeted by angry punters who have called for a boycott of his business.
Councillor Ken Lynn reported John Justice, who runs the Pillars Bar, to the authorities over Facebook posts about detaining Muslims and “ripping the garb off them.”
A flurry of negative reviews from as far away as Germany have also appeared on the pub’s page, accusing the owner of being a bigot.
But Mr Justice said that he was not a racist and that his business’s page has been targeted by people with fake profiles who snooped on his personal Facebook profile and have never visited his pub.
The furore initially started when the landlord slammed the “harsh” sentence meted out to his son Joel, who unleashed racist abuse at workers in a curry house on Perth Road.
One reviewer, Stephen Day, posted: “Not sure why the landlord considers this dive a public house, as a lot of the public aren’t welcome, especially if you’re not quite as white as he thinks he is and everybody else should be.”
Dorothea Shovlar added: “I call for boycotting this establishment on the reason that the owner wants to boycott Islam. Racists have no place in our society.”
Lisa Robertson said she “won’t be back” after overhearing bar staff apparently talking about Muslims in a “cruel” way.
Councillor Lynn said he sent a screen shot from Mr Justice’s Facebook page to the police, because in his opinion the post went “beyond free speech” and into “hate speech” category.
Councillor Lynn said: “Criticising things, including Islam, is fine as part of free speech, but when you’re talking about rounding people up and detaining them, it’s hate speech.
“People need to realise that Facebook isn’t private, these comments can be seen by anyone.”
The post in question stated: “Typical Germany and the European/American elite.
“They are in total denial about Islam, Muslims and terrorism. One million yes 1,000,000 migrants/refugees into Germany the past two years.
“And mainly Islamist! Europe is going to s**t because no one has the b**s to round them up, detain them, close their mosques and rip the their garb off them.”
The Courier visited the Pillars Bar, where business appeared to be going on as normal.
Mr Justice said that anyone was welcome in the pub regardless of race, and that he has heard nothing from the council or the police.
He said: “No criminal offence can possibly have been committed.
“There’s one fundamental point that people are missing – that Islam is not a race, it’s a religion, and anyone from any race can be a Muslim.
“I’m not a racist, I’m a retired solicitor and have acted for many Muslim clients in my time, I’m not prejudiced against anybody.
“But there are issues that need to be challenged, for example Islam does not accept homosexuality.
“Apart from the reviews there has also been a lot of personal abuse against me.
“That is fine as I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression which in my view also includes the right to offend.
“The point in my book is that liberalism liberal values western democracy and enlightened views need to be defended preciously.
“We should never take them for granted – they have been won over many many years and Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and ISIS show the depths humanity can plunge to because of ideologies.”
Mr Justice also launched a personal attack on Councillor Lynn, referring to him as a “balloon”.
Police Scotland had not commented by the time of going to press.