An Islamic street preacher has been charged with a “racially aggravated” public order offence after allegedly harassing a woman for “wearing tight jeans” and yelling “Allah hu Akbar” at a police officer who he accused of “racism”.
Unemployed Krissoni Henderson, 31, was preaching on a high street in Birmingham city centre on the 4th of July when the woman made a 999 call to complain about his behaviour.
When a policeman from West Midlands police approached him, he strongly denied the charge and reacted furiously. The incident was caught on film.
“Who did she walk up to? She came up to my face,” he says of the women who made the complaint.
“Here is my witness,” he screams, gesturing to a woman in Islamic dress, “if you want to arrest me arrest me.” Adding: “Do you think I’m scared?”
Mr. Henderson has now been charged with a “racially aggravated” crime and will appear in court on the 6th of September.
“Freedom of speech, we are not going to take your racism anymore. We’re not terrorists and we are not suicide bombers, throw your television in the dustbin. This is a free country and we can speak freely in public!” he rants in the footage.
He also shouts “Allah hu Akbar” (‘Allah is greater’ in Arabic) and Alhamdulillah (‘Praise be to Allah’) in the police officer’s face.
The officer asks if he can pay him “common decency”, before explaining the law to him and the gathering crowd, who appear to support the preacher.
“This young man has the right to assembly. He can stand here and shout and alarm. He can shock and offend… If he commits a public order offence… then he will be arrested,” the officer says.
Birmingham West and Central Police Superintendent Andy Beard, told the Daily Mail:
“We received a call from a lady walking through central Birmingham making allegations that she had been sworn at and that derogatory comments had been made about her appearance.
“We have investigated those claims and as a result a man has been charged.
“People absolutely have the right in law to freedom of speech and visitors to Birmingham city centre will regularly hear people offering their opinion on a wide range of topics.
“However, people must do so lawfully and if there is any suggestion anyone is abusing that right and using words likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress or cause a breach of the peace then we will investigate and take the appropriate action.”