An imam from Stoke-on-Trent has been convicted of supporting ISIS and encouraging terrorism.
Kamran Hussain was secretly filmed by an undercover police officer for over four months last year, encouraging terrorism and supporting ISIS from the Tunstall High Street mosque in Stoke-on-Trent.
He was recorded telling children that martyrdom was better than anything they could achieve at school.
The 40-year-old imam told those present that martyrs had nothing to fear when “you go in front of Allah with the bullet wounds and the sword wounds and you are raised in that situation with the blood still coming from your body”.
He was also heard saying that the far-right group Britain First was a “government-backed project”.
Hussain was found guilty by a jury which deliberated for 10 hours of eight charges, two of supporting ISIS and six of encouraging terrorism on dates between June and September 2016.
He defended himself by claiming that the ability to discuss “difficult concepts in a challenging world” was an essential part of religion and claimed he was exercising his right to freedom of speech.
Mari Reid from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Kamran Hussain was in a position of trust and authority which he abused by encouraging support for Daesh and glorifying violent extremism.
“His audience included children, some as young as 10, who would have heard him say killing others or being killed themselves was more desirable than doing well in school.”
Hussain will be sentenced on Thursday 28 September.