On Saturday, a counter extremism practitioner shared video of a confrontation between a Muslim woman in a full-body veil, or niqab, and a person wearing a rainbow flag signifying support for the LGBT movement. Police are investigating a potential hate crime after the incident in the Walthamstow district of London. For liberals who advocate for Muslims and LGBT activism, confrontations like this present an interesting dilemma.
“Shame on you!” the woman shouted at the LGBT activist. “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
As a man in a yellow vest separated the two, the Muslim woman continued, “Shame on you, shame on all of you. You despicable people, you shameless people.”
Disgusting homophobic abuse at those on Waltham Forest Pride today.
No matter what form hate comes in, we must stamp it out and say no to all forms of hate! Also, very importantly we cannot call out one form of hate but be silent/complicit on others. @GalopUK @stonewalluk pic.twitter.com/kDAFoAb8Vw
— Yusuf Patel MBE (@YusufJP_) July 27, 2019
According to the Metro newspaper, the LGBT activist replied, “We still love you, you will not shame me.”
From the video, it appears the Muslim woman was the aggressor, but it remains unclear exactly how the confrontation started.
Stella Creasy, a member of Parliament with the liberal Labour Party, denounced “such hatred” and said she was “proud that many from all faiths and none today including Islam joined the Waltham Forest Pride march to show Walthamstow really does mean welcome.”
Gutted to see this and clear such hatred isn't acceptable anywhere let alone in our home town- proud that many from all faiths and none today including Islam joined the Waltham Forest Pride march to show Walthamstow really does mean welcome #loveislove https://t.co/9ocEyy4tsQ
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) July 27, 2019
Police are investigating the matter as a potential hate crime.
“We are aware of footage circulating on social media of abuse directed at those taking part in the Waltham Forest Pride event and enquiries are taking place,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said. “Abusing someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a hate crime and we would encourage victims and those who were there when this took place to come forward.”
“If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked in any way by someone because you are or they think you are LGBT+ please report these crimes to the police,” the spokesperson added.
Interestingly, Yusuf Patel, the one who shared the footage, told The Independent he was “extremely disheartened to see such intolerance in my local area.” He added, “We know there are growing hate incidents of antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and LGBT+ hate.”
Muslim parents have protested LGBT lessons in their children’s public schools, leading to a government agency created in the wake of an anti-Muslim attack to attack the very Muslims it was intended to protect.
Reported hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation rose by 27 percent to 11,638 between 2017 and 2018, while hate crimes against transgender people rose by a third to 1,651 in the same period, The Independent reported. Religiously-motivated bias incidents — which the paper said were mostly directed at Muslims — rose by 40 percent to 8,336. Evidence is not required to report a hate crime, however.
This Muslim’s words were aggressive, but she did not advocate violence against LGBT people or LGBT activists. Her outburst took place in a context of rising LGBT “pride,” which conservative Christians and Muslims see as a glorification of sin. Her theologically correct statement about creation was not an attack on LGBT people, and her worst action involved calling LGBT people “despicable.”
As an American, I find the very idea of getting charged by police for calling someone “despicable” or shouting “shame on you!” both chilling and terrifying. Sure, this woman should receive some form of opprobrium if she was indeed the aggressor, but this should not be a matter for the police.
That said, it is interesting to see how liberals respond as they realize their inability to stand with all the identity politics groups they champion. Some Muslims do embrace LGBT activism, but most of them do not. Muslims are a religious minority in the U.S., Britain, and across the West. Yet it seems when Muslims disagree with LGBT activism, liberals turn on the Muslims — at least when it comes to those on their doorstep. Overseas, Muslim governments oppress LGBT people, and many liberals seem not to bat an eye.
All Americans and Brits should condemn violence against LGBT people and Muslims. Yet this incident did not involve violence, and if this incident counts as a “hate crime,” the threshold for reporting “hate” seems low indeed. After all, the Muslim woman could not have intended to shame LGBT people, but only LGBT activists — this could be a political statement as much as a bias-motivated one.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.