A refugee from Turkey was today stabbed at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London.
Hatun Tash, a regular speaker at London’s Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park was today stabbed in the middle of the Corner in broad daylight. On Sunday 25 July 2021, the Corner had been drenched in heavy rain for most of the day, the numbers present were therefore much lower than would normally be expected on a July Sunday afternoon. Whilst small groups huddled together trying to keep dry under the trees, at around 3:30pm an individual lunged at Hatun, punching and stabbing her with a knife. The male attacker, wearing a large black hooded robe (thobe) immediately ran away dropping and leaving the knife at the scene.
A police car that had been parked at the perimeter of the Corner, seeing the commotion drove to chase the attacker as he tried to leave the park down one of the pathways leaving the Corner towards Marble Arch. It is not yet known whether the police managed to catch him before he escaped from the park.
A large number of police, including armed officers, arrived at the Corner within ten minutes. With bloodied wounds on her face and hand, Hatun was helped to an ambulance by police. The attacker’s knife was taken by the police following regulars at the Corner keeping watch over it.
Hatun, fled to Britain to escape persecution in Turkey following her conversion from Islam to Christianity. She has been attending Speakers Corner for many years. She has been a fierce critique of Islam during her time at the Corner and has suffered intimidation, threats, sexual assaults and physical assaults at the Corner in recent years. On 25 October 2020 she was knocked unconscious at the Corner (story here).
The regular Islamic Dawah teams at Speakers Corner have focussed much of their rhetoric on Hatun, particularly in regard to her showing of Charlie Hebdo front covers of depicting Mohammed.
Since the retirement of the regular appointed police officer at Speakers Corner, PC Steve Barnes, concerns have been expressed about the lack of police presence. Violence has broken out at the Corner most weeks during the last two months, with fights mainly occurring between Shia and Sunni Islamic factions at the Corner. There has also been concern about police inaction following previous…