Police apologise to London woman evangelist who was arrested twice, attacked and stabbed

Hatun Tash, a Christian evangelist based in London, England, is shown in this undated photo. (PHOTO: The Roys Report)

Originally published in The Roys Report

A Christian apologist who was arrested twice by London police while preaching at London’s Speaker’s Corner has been given an apology and a financial settlement.

Hatun Tash, a former Muslim who is now a Christian speaker sharing the Gospel with Muslim background people, spends plenty of time preaching and debating the Qur’an and Islam at the famed outdoor space. She was first arrested in December 2020 and again in May 2021.

“In the first instance, Tash was assaulted, abused and harassed by a group of Islamic men for wearing a t-shirt featuring a picture of Muhammad while participating in weekly debates, according to the Christian Legal Centre, which represents Tash,” according to a report in The Christian Post.

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“When officers asked the group to leave, they refused and continued to intimidate Tash, as was seen in a video. The officers then requested Tash to leave, and when she refused, they arrested her.”

In the second instance, officers cited COVID-19 regulations to detain Tash after she encouraged officers not to hinder another preacher’s right to free speech, according to the Christian Post.

In July 2021 she was stabbed on her hand and face by a young man while debating with a Muslim at the corner.

According to UK newspaper The Daily Mail, Detective Superintendent Alex Bingley (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.”

“I am upset and disturbed by what has happened to me,” Tash said after being arrested in July 2021. “I am asking myself if I have done anything wrong. I am convinced I have not broken any law or incited hate. All I did was question Islam and I wanted to debate, discuss and to tell people about Jesus Christ.”

“Police inaction has led to what happened to me. My attacker was not even afraid of the police as he did it right in front of them. It is heart-breaking that we live in a society where police do not want to arrest a Muslim for fear of being called ‘Islamophobic’.”

In his apology letter, Insp Andy O’Donnell from the London Metropolitan Police, says he has investigated her complaints of being mistreated by police. He says he has concluded “that on these occasions the level of service did fall below the requisite standard”.

Tash was awarded £10 000 (R209 000) and has donated the award to the Christian Legal Centre in London who has represented her.

O’Donnell apologised to Tash “for the distress that you have suffered as a consequence of these incidents. I hope that settlement of this claim and this recognition of the impact of what happened will enable you to put these incidents behind you”.

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