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Speakers Corner this afternoon - T0mmy R0bins0n arrested visiting Christian preacher Hatun Tash
I'm following a live feed at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park in London.
There is a young woman preacher, Hatun Tash of DCCI Ministries (Defend Christianity, Critique Islam), who bravely speaks at Speakers Corner challenging the Muslim domination there and speaking both postitively of Christ and pointing out the flaws in the Koran.
Any speaker at Speakers Corner expects lively debate. However the Muslims who dominate Speakers Corner have threatened and violently opposed and assaulted her, to the extent that in July she was assaulted. As a result of this in August the police warned her not to attend Speakers Corner again as they believed that certain Muslims intended to kill her and thus it was too dangerous. I don't know if this was an official Osman warning or not. In any event she returned and in September she had to be escorted out of Hyde Park by police for her own safety. This is a description by Tim Dieppe of Christian Concern of the way she has been intimidated and maligned.
On Sunday 13 September, Hatun was escorted out of Speakers’ Corner by police for her own safety. You can watch the full video footage here. She was told that if she returned there she would be arrested. This raises many questions about the home of free speech. It appears that the police believe that it is no longer safe for Christians to critique Islam there. The police were prepared to step in and remove Hatun and prevent her from sharing the gospel there. Where next for free speech in this world-famous location?
There is no doubt that Hatun was being provocative. That is her style. To be quite honest, if you are not provocative at Speakers’ Corner, then no-one will bother listening to you. Those who go to Speakers’ Corner go there expecting provocative things to be said and done. That is the nature of the place. Muslims are routinely provocative in their criticism of Christianity at Speakers’ Corner, as is their right.
Famously, with the help of others, Hatun has taken 26 different Arabic Qur’ans to Speakers’ Corner and explained that they are all different. This point is very disturbing to Muslims who have been taught that the Qur’an is eternal and unchangeable and perfectly preserved. The Muslim leaders were so alarmed by this display that you can see them in the video calling other Muslims to come away because they didn’t want them to hear or see this material, against which they had no answer. Textual criticism of the Qur’an is now a rapidly developing field of study and the Islamic world is still struggling to know how to respond to evidence of multiple different Qur’ans. A leading Muslim apologist shocked the Islamic world when he recently admitted that there are real issues, and stated that “the standard narrative has holes in it.”
To remind Muslims of this issue, Hatun was using the visual aid of a large Qur’an with holes drilled through it. Provocative to be sure, but not outside the bounds of free speech – and certainly not in Speakers’ Corner, the home of free speech. Holes in any other book would have been seen as fair game. Hatun has seen at least one Muslim convert to Christianity following a conversation provoked by this visual aid. . .
As sunset approached, a Muslim snatched Hatun’s holey Qur’an from her and ran off with it. Two of her Christian friends were punched trying to recover it. Shortly after this, the police intervened.
The police action effectively enforced sharia law in Speakers’ Corner. They acted to protect Islam from criticism. Ostensibly they were merely acting to protect a brave, but vulnerable woman – but their action also served to silence her. It should have been those making threats who were removed, not Hatun. The result was that a Christian preacher was silenced by police in the home of free speech.
Today T0mmy R0bins0n and some of his friends and supporters decided to attend Speakers Corner to listen to her and provide moral support. I understand both from some people who are there and the Zero News live feed that the situation got lively and the police moved in quickly to arrest Tommy, or at least forcibly remove him, claiming his possesion of an offensive weapon.
One of his supporters expressed the opinion to the Zero News reporter that Tommy would be neither have anything about his person, and nor would he brandish anything that could be construed as a weapon at the watching police.
What he was pictured with at one point was a gift of a box of chocolates.
I watched the police robustly pushing Miss Tash's supporters quite a few of which are middle-aged ladies (who would have included people who had come with or to support Tommy) along the path in Hyde Park away from Speakers Corner.
Opinion is that policing was over zealous, especially compared with the careful handling of the Muslims who burned a photograph of President Macron and chanted rude slogans ourside the French Embassy on Friday.
Muslim men surrounded them and the 'gentlemen' below were telling the cameraman "fuck you, fuck you, fuck Tommy" and "we'll break your jaw".
I don't know the whereabouts of Miss Tash. The live feed has ended, the weather is miserable and it's getting dark so I imagine all genuine debating will be coming to a natural end shortly.
Oh, and if you are wondering about the use of the zero digit in T0mmy's name and not the usual 'o' its one of the efforts that have to be made to prevent social media algorithms detecting a mention of 'he who they don't like being named'. Believe me, one can get a Facebook ban or time in facebook jail for it.