A gang of Muslim men went on a drunken rampage through Liverpool city centre attacking strangers because they were white "non-Muslims".

Amin Mohmed, Mohammed Patel and Faruq Patel were feared to be Isis terrorists when they started punching and abusing innocent bystanders, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Their victims included one man who was set upon after he revealed he was Christian.

Counter-terrorism police were so concerned about the attackers' motives they even raided the trio's homes after the violent spree.

The gang were jailed on Thursday (27 July) after being convicted at Liverpool Crown Court.

"This was a disgraceful and sustained campaign of violence carried out on the streets of this city," said the judge, Recorder Louise Brandon.

The court heard how fellow Muslim, Edris Nosrati, spotted two of the gang attacking a man in Bold Street at around 3.30am on 20 March last year.

When asked to prove he was a Muslim by saying the "Muslim word", he feared the attackers were Islamic extremists and responded with an Arabic phrase often used by Isis meaning: "There is only one God, and Muhammad is a messenger."

Paul Treble, prosecuting, said: "He said it's a phrase often linked with Isis. He was concerned as to their exact intent and that they might be associated in some way to an extremist organisation."

Nosrati was told he could go after saying the phrase, but when he tried to stop them punching another man, one said: "It's none of your business."

He followed the gang as they went through the city centre to continue their violent spree. Finding their next target in Renshaw Street, resident Gary Bohanna was asked his religion by Mohmed, 24, and Mohammed, 20.

"I'm a Muslim, what are you?" one of the pair said. When he replied, "I'm a Christian," his attacker shouted, "Why aren't you a Muslim?"

The court heard Bohanna was then punched twice, breaking his glasses and causing a cut above his left eye.

The gang went on to target Paul Lynch, a local Labour Party councillor who was walking in the city centre with his girlfriend.

Footage filmed by Faruq, 19, captured the moment Mohmed punched Lynch with what was said by the prosecution to be a "sickening blow" that could be "seen and heard". Faruq could be heard laughing as the victim – who suffered bleeding to his eyes – fell to the ground.

Nosrati was then attacked himself by the gang as he called police to put a stop to the men's attacks.

During police questioning, Mohmed told officers he could not remember the night in question because he was so drunk.

Mohammed initially denied the assaults but later confessed to "targeting people because they were white and non-Muslim".

He and Faruq also told officers the group had been racially abused before they began attacking strangers – including being called "dirty p***".

Mohmed, of Perendale Rise, Bolton, and Mohammed, of Eastbank Street, Bolton, admitted racially or religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm.

The pair, along with Faruq, of Crumpsall Street, Bolton, also admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.

Mohmed, who has previous convictions for criminal damage and battery, reportedly cried as he was jailed for 42 weeks. Mohammed and Faruq Patel received 42 and 18 weeks respectively in a young offenders institution.

The judge said the group may have suffered racist abuse, but targeted innocent men in "violent and senseless attacks."