A 39-year-old woman wearing a Charlie Hebdo shirt was stabbed in the face in London’s Speaker’s Corner on Sunday afternoon.
The victim has not been named by police, but is Hatun Tash according to social media posts, a preacher from a group called Defend Christ Critique Islam Ministries that says it seeks to preach the Christian Gospel to Muslims.
Not the first time Hatun Tash has been physically attacked for criticising Islam. This time she was repeatedly stabbed. https://t.co/D37FcxbBL1
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 26, 2021
The attack took place in broad daylight in the section of Hyde Park that is known for free speech and gatherings for public speeches.
Footage of the attack was shared to social media and shows a person dressed all in black approaching the victim.
Charlie Hebdo T-shirt-wearing woman is STABBED at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in attack caught on video as police hunt man dressed all in black who fled the scene pic.twitter.com/cCeNcjC6DP
— CSTV_GH (@cstv_gh) July 25, 2021
Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine that was the victim of a deadly attack by Islamic terrorists in 2015 following the publication a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. Twelve people were killed.
Last year, someone started a petition to ban her from the park — which has over 100 signatures.
Christian preacher Hatun Tash has been stabbed in Speaker's Corner. She is a prominent critic of Islam. We must defend freedom of speech and expression in the UK, and not cede the public square to those who wish to censor us intimidate us. pic.twitter.com/Z8aMo1UnP6
— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) July 25, 2021
The knife was recovered after Sunday’s attack, but police have not apprehended the attacker.
“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,” Det Supt Alex Bingley, of the Central West Command Unit told the BBC. “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,” Bingley continued. “I would ask people not to speculate on the motive for the attack until we have established the full facts.”
The woman’s injuries are not life threatening.