A man launched an online attack stating he would bring back Hitler to “exterminate” Muslims before a rally by a far-right group in Perth.
Perth Sheriff Court heard how 60-year-old Gavin Fowler posted the message on a newspaper social media page which had been discussing the protest march by the Scottish Defence League (SDL).
The SDL had organised the controversial event to voice their opposition to a plan to build a new mosque in Perth.
The court heard Fowler posted the message on the Facebook page on August 4 and it was read by a resident who found it “extremely offensive.”
Depute Fiscal Michael Sweeney said: “The accused had posted he would bring Hitler back to exterminate this vermin off the Earth.
“The resident took a screenshot of the post and then notified the police about it. ”
Mr Sweeney told the court officers later traced the accused and charged him with the offence.
“The accused replied that he was ‘sorry’ and that he was ‘stupid,'” Mr Sweeney added.
Solicitor Linda Clark, defending, said her client had acted “impulsively” and was very “remorseful” about the social media post.
Fowler admitted that on August 4 last year at his home, he posted a grossly offensive religious message on the Facebook page.
Fining him £1,000, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: “You could make some excuse for posting this extremely offensive message if you were aged in your teens or early 20s – not someone your age who was born in the late 1950s.
“I find it hard to believe that you have no modicum of knowledge about recent history and were aware of the content of this post – in particular, with reference to this regime (Nazis).”
He continued: “This post was published online and was there for other to read. You should be rightly remorseful.”
Perth’s Muslim community was granted permission to build the £1 million mosque on Jeanfield Road last year. Members of the Perth Islamic Society said the building was required due to its growing population. They are believed to have around 600 members across Perthshire.
The SDL vowed to turn out in force to protest but they were outnumbered by anti-fascist opposition when the march took place on September 10 last year.
One of the biggest police operations ever mounted in the city was mounted to keep the peace.