Rangers director Chris Graham resigns over Mohammed tweet

Image source, SNS Group Paul Devlin
Image caption,
Chris Graham was appointed as a non-executive director of Rangers on Tuesday

A Rangers director has resigned amid controversy over a tweet which showed a sexually explicit cartoon of the prophet Mohammed.

Chris Graham was appointed as a non-executive director at Ibrox on Tuesday.

It later emerged the image was sent from his Twitter account to radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

News that his resignation had been accepted by the board was announced at the Stock Exchange on Friday.

Shortly after two gunmen had shot dead 12 people at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January, Mr Choudary had sent a message on Twitter which read "freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the prophets of Allah, whatever your views on the events in Paris today!"

Mr Graham replied by sending a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed engaged in an explicit sex act with the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks.

'Freedom of speech'

In a statement released by Mr Graham following his resignation, he apologised unreservedly for tweeting the cartoon.

He said: "Freedom of speech is one of the foundations that our country is built upon. However, with that freedom comes a responsibility to be sensitive to the views of all our nation's communities.

"This tweet did not do that. For that I apologise unreservedly.

"I also tweeted my support for the Muslim community during exchanges that day but even so I accept that re-tweeting that cartoon was inappropriate.

"I am extremely proud to have played a part in helping Rangers to secure regime change but I have had to take this decision for my family and the club itself. I wish the current board the very best of luck going forward."

Vocal supporter

The 38-year-old is well known among football fans for representing the Rangers Supporters Trust and running the Rangers Standard website.

He was a vocal supporter of Dave King and Paul Murray during their successful efforts to gain control of the club at its EGM last week.

Mr Graham's appointment was announced on Tuesday but within 24 hours he was engulfed in controversy after the Mohammed tweet was widely circulated on social media.

The Ibrox club initially said it would look into the matter.

On Thursday, police confirmed that they were aware of the tweet and were "carrying out inquiries".

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