McConnell, who made his remarks at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast in 2014, was charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

Both are prohibited under the British 2003 Communications Act.

The verdict follows a trial after one of McConnell’s sermons was broadcast online. In it McConnell said: “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.” McConnell compared Muslims to the IRA, saying there were cells of Islamic radicals spread across the United Kingdom. He also said: “Now people say there are good Muslims in Britain – that may be so – but I don’t trust them.”

During his trial McConnell said he still believed everything he said in his sermon. “I was attacking the theology of Islam. I was not attacking any individual Muslim,” he told the court. “I didn’t realize that good Muslim people would be hurt. I didn’t go into the church to provoke anyone. I went into church to present the truth.”

Here is an excerpt from the 2014 sermon:

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