A Muslim man was shut down by a judge after refusing to stand in court and citing religious reasons for his refusal.
Ricardo McFarlane appeared in court after he allegedly disobeyed a court order that banned him from approaching people in public and "preaching sharia law." McFarlane, a convert to Islam, was one of 21 men who set up outside a store and called for strict Islamic laws to be imposed.
In court, Judge Martin Beddoe noticed that McFarlane did not stand when he entered the room.
"If Mr. McFarlane isn’t going to treat this court with respect then I might have to deal with him differently than to release him on bail," Beddoe said, The Sun reported.
"Because of his religious belief he believes there is only one person who he should bow to," defense attorney Roy Hedlam responded.
"That is as may be, but this isn’t a court of religion, this is a secular court and it expects to be treated with respect," Beddoe replied. "That isn’t in breach of any religious principles I’m aware of."
McFarlane proceeded to stand for Beddoe while he was speaking and during the rest of the hearing, which took place in London.
Social media users commented on the incident.
"I would rise in any court room I might find myself in," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "Been in several as an observer never for me. When a Judge enters I rise. Not for the Judge as a person but for what he represents. I have known some Judges socially and to a person they are enjoyable to be around. But, if I knew a Judge that was the most miserable SOB I ever met I would rise in his court room for what he represented. The best legal system in the world."
"No Sharia Law exists in this country! Period!" another wrote. "We must keep our laws and only our laws. Proud of the judge holding his grounds. We all need to stand our grounds and put them in their place."
"That's right!!!!" commented another who didn't realize the incident was in the U.K. "This is America and American laws!!!! You stand up and show respect and honor!!!!! When criminals have no remorse. The sentence should double."
Others spoke out against McFarlane's actions that landed him in court in the first place.
"Under no circumstance will I bow to Islam, Sharia law," one reader commented, who assumed the incident took place in the U.S. "There will be no muslim prayers in American schools. You want to live in America become an American. Otherwise get the f**k out of my country."