Speakers’ Corner Charlie Hebdo Stabbing Being Investigated by London’s Terrorism Unit

Hatun Tash
Screenshot (SOCO films via YouTube)

London’s counter-terrorism police unit is investigating a stabbing in Speakers’ Corner in which a hooded man attacked a woman wearing a Charlie Hebdo t-shirt on Sunday. No motive has been declared and no arrests have been made.

Footage on social media showed the man repeatedly slashing at the 39-year-old woman, who is believed to be a prominent Christian street preacher and noted critic of Islam, Hatun Tash.

In a statement released Monday evening, the Metropolitan Police said that so far no arrests have been made in connection to the “serious assault” but that the investigation is now being led by the Met’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command.

“The incident is not being treated as terrorism-related at this time. Enquiries are ongoing and we continue to keep an open mind about possible motives,” the police said.

The Met said that officers attended to the 39-year-old woman after she sustained a “slash injury to her head”. She was treated at the scene of the attack before being brought to a central London hospital and was discharged after her injuries were determined not to be life-threatening.

Detective Superintendent Alex Bingley, of the Central West Command Unit, said: “This was clearly a very distressing incident for the woman involved and officers have spent time with her, whilst she was being treated for her injury, to get an account of what happened.

“We know that this assault was witnessed by a number of people, many of whom captured it on their phones. I would ask them, if they have not already done so, to contact police.”

“We remain in the early stages of our investigation and are working hard to trace the person responsible. I would ask people not to speculate on the motive for the attack until we have established the full facts.”

The woman in the video footage shared on social media is believed to be the Christian street preacher Hatun Tash, who preaches with the Defend Christ, Critique Islam (DCCI) Ministries.

According to the ministry’s website, their goal is to bring Muslims into “repentance and faith in Jesus Christ in order to attain eternal life.”

Tash has become a figure of scorn for many in the Islamic community, with some activists even calling for her to be banned from the supposed ‘home of free speech’ Speakers’ Corner.

Tash was even dragged out of the area last year by police who claimed that it was for her “protection” after Muslims were enraged by her shirt which featured an image from the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was a victim of an Islamist terror attack in 2015 that claimed the lives of 12 people in retaliation for publishing a caricature of Mohamed.

Commenting on the assault, the editor of Spiked magazine, Brendan O’Neill wrote: “Let’s be real about what appears to have happened in Hyde Park yesterday – a woman known for her critical attitude towards Islam was violently assaulted with a weapon. In Britain, in the 21st century.

“Where are the cries of denunciation, or at least of concern?

“The woke left claims to be against fascism, yet it is eerily quiet about a seemingly extremist attack on a woman for holding particular beliefs.

“Our media elites shake their heads over online abuse, but they haven’t yet mustered up the energy to talk about this act of brutal physical abuse against a woman – an immigrant woman, at that – who was only criticising a world religion.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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