A Public Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “This case was brought by the PPS because of the characterisation by Pastor McConnell of all Muslims as potential terrorists by virtue of their faith. The court has decided that while offensive this comment, in the context in which it was made, did not reach the grossly offensive threshold required by law for a criminal conviction.
“It is clear from the judgement that the court considered Pastor McConnell had a case to answer and that the decision on whether the comment was offensive or grossly offensive was not only finely balanced but one for the court and the court alone to take.
“It is not the role of the public prosecutor to usurp the function of the court. The decision to bring this prosecution was entirely consistent with the duty of the PPS to put before the court those cases in which it is considered there is a reasonable prospect of a conviction.”