At every stage, the British state helped Hassan in every way it could. It took in a person who had no right to be in the country -- who indeed had entered the country illegally. It housed him, fed him, educated him and encouraged him. He repaid this by building a bomb at the home of his foster parents and trying to bring carnage to the rush-hour commuters on the London Underground.
Now that Hassan has been tried, convicted and sentenced for his crime, the British people may be surprised at the priorities of the authorities who are meant to keep them safe. But at the final stage of that process, the state produced one final insult against the people of the country.
This is how The Honourable Mr Justice Haddon-Cave concluded his sentencing on March 23:
Finally, Ahmed Hassan, let me say this to you. You will have plenty of time to study the Qur'an in prison in the years to come. You should understand that the Qur'an is a book of peace; Islam is a religion of peace. The Qur'an and Islam forbid anything extreme, including extremism in religion. Islam forbids breaking the "law of the land" where one is living or is a guest. Islam forbids terrorism (hiraba). The Qur'an and the Sunna provide that the crime of perpetrating terror to "cause corruption in the land" is one of the most severe crimes in Islam. So it is in the law of the United Kingdom. You have, therefore, received the most severe of sentences under the law of this land. You have violated the Qur'an and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilized people. It is to be hoped that you will come to realise this one day. Please go with the officers.
First, what business is it of a judge to make such a statement? Why should Mr Justice Haddon-Cave think that being a judge in a British court also permits him to expound on Islamic theology? And what if he is wrong in his theological pronouncements? What if it is not the case that Islam "forbids anything extreme"? What if a lot of British subjects who are not Muslims discover that this judge is telling an untruth? What if he is wrong, and that the cure for a jihadist like Ahmed Hassan is not in fact confinement with the Quran and Sunna?
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave seems almost to suggest that "violating" the law of the Quran and Islam is an offense in itself -- one worth noting alongside the crime of putting a bomb on a packed commuter train. That his pronouncement was superfluous is obvious. That it is incorrect is at least equally so. But worst is that it will further erode the belief of the citizenry in their lawmakers.
In his sorry and violent life, Ahmed Hassan had already proven the incompetency of Britain's border-police and the ignorance or naivety of its Home Office officials. His final gift to the state that allowed him in was to bring about the over-reach -- and presumption and lack of awareness -- of its judiciary.