Even heckling is a ‘hate crime’ now

A woman in a burqa is being investigated for her anti-gay rant.



A video showing a woman in a burqa shouting homophobic abuse at a Pride march in Waltham Forest, London has gone viral.

‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’, says the veiled woman, channelling Alan Partridge, as she berates some of the participants in the march. ‘Shame on you!’, she shouts repeatedly.

Now the police have got involved. They are investigating the incident and are treating it as a potential hate crime.

This is insane. It should not be a crime to heckle a march. A lone woman ranting and raving is obviously not a serious threat to anyone’s safety. The absolute worst case scenario is that those on the sharp end of her rants were briefly offended.

What’s more, Pride is a political event. People should be free to participate in it, ignore it or dislike it for any reason they choose. People who take part in political demos cannot expect to be protected from disagreement or even hostility. State-enforced tolerance of Pride or any other event is no tolerance at all.

This case highlights a clear tension in modern Britain. Both religious beliefs and being LGBT are considered ‘protected characteristics’ under equality law. Insulting, ridiculing or harassing someone on the basis of either of these characteristics has the potential to turn even the most minor disputes into police matters.

Nobody should be remotely surprised that a fully veiled Muslim woman holds religious objections to homosexuality. But in ‘investigating’ her heckles, the cops are, in effect, criminalising her religious beliefs. This is absolutely unacceptable. Freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are the bedrock of a free society.

On this occasion, the police have sided with the gay ‘victims’ of this woman’s rant. But there is nothing to stop police, in future, from criminalising any vocal objection to Islam about its stance on homosexuality.

Already, there have been calls from community groups, including the local Labour Party, for Twitter users to avoid ‘Islamophobia’ – which is too often code for any critical discussion of Islam – when criticising the woman’s rant.

The tensions highlighted by the video will only be resolved through open and frank debate. Criminalising either side is a dangerous response.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Helen Oyintanda

2nd August 2019 at 12:07 am

Bit concerned that Walthamstow police haven’t heard of Section 29JA of the Public Order Act 1986 which allows for discussion and criticism of sexual orientation issues, nor of the protection the Act gives her as a religious woman. Since no criminal law has been breached it cannot be a Hate Crime because hate crimes operate as aggravating factors.
There is a Christian Street Preacher arrested every week in the west of Scotland and has seen his case thrown out of court 9 times I think now because he is allowed, as a Christian, to say that homosexuality is sinful. Same with Islam, they can say it.
Nothing can happen to her.

Srdjan Miletic

30th July 2019 at 8:56 pm

I’m afraid I don’t find the argument in this article persuasive.

Should the police be investigating this incident? Yes because what she did was clearly illegal according to our current laws.

Are those laws are just? I’m unsure.On one hand expressions of political belief can be insulting but should not be banned. e.g: If I want to argue that murders are morally bad people i should be allowed to do so. On the other hand people should be free to live their lives in public without being personally harassed. I tend to think that a resonable compromise between these two values is allowing people to express any belief but not allowing them to approach specific individuals in public and scream at them that they’re bad people. I don’t see what the alternative this article proposes is unless that alternative is “It’s okay for me to walk up to strangers on the street and shout at them them repeatedly that they are bad people”

I read spiked because the argumentation is usually fairly solid.

Charles Stuart

30th July 2019 at 4:57 am

Good point in the article that all this ”inclusive” rubbish is actually political behaviour, not a moral issue at all.
All anti-discrimination laws need to be removed. They are an abomination that have led to people making themselves ”victims” instead of trying to succeed. If being a ”victim” gives you credibitlity, sympathy, power and a modet income, why would anyone not choose the path of victimhood.

cliff resnick

29th July 2019 at 9:55 pm

liberation from the closet has ironically opened a pandoras box now the genie is out of the bottle!

Jane 70

29th July 2019 at 7:03 pm

What to expect next in The Identity Games : Radical Islamist lawyer, who acts for illegals awaiting deportation faces off against wheelchair bound trans woman; Angry remainer assaults #metoo activist recently outed as Brexit supporter;
Hysterical student, ‘triggered’ by inappropriately intrusive exam question, calls out the lesbian lecturer who set the paper.

All bets are off.

Willie Penwright

29th July 2019 at 6:13 pm

My favourite report of this incident is in today’s Independent: “the woman wearing clothing commonly associated with female followers of Islam…”

The fact that a woman wearing clothing commonly associated with female followers of Islam was prepared to speak to infidels at all should be applauded. I hope she doesn’t get into trouble with her guardian now that her picture has been all over the media.

Danny Rees

29th July 2019 at 4:57 pm

So if a religious person goes out and shouts at some gay people that they are “perverts who are going to hell” they should not be arrested for it because it’s their religious beliefs?

Well Spiked?

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 2:32 pm

You’re not a homo are you?

Howard T Duck

29th July 2019 at 4:40 pm

It was almost inevitable that tolerance of LGBT rights and protection of religious freedom would meet head to head.
Time for the progressives to pick a side?

Danny Rees

29th July 2019 at 5:00 pm

Except progressives have. Few progressives tolerate hostility towards gay people for any reason let alone religion.

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 5:22 pm

All rights are made up and they all infringe on the potential rights of others. Society “picks a side” whenever it ascribes a right. Eg. the law that gives gays the right to adopt kids limits the potential right of RC adoption agencies to conduct their business as they see fit.

Picking a side on a particular focus of conflict does not imply overall hostility to either side, eg. RC are still tolerated in their various ministries, just some limits are placed on them.

All rights work that way, rights are limited by the rights of others but everyone retains rights, ideally as many as possible depending on the situation.

So the protection of gays does not imply an overall hostility to Muslims or Islam, any more than to RC. All religions, and all people, are limited in what they can do by the rights of others but that does not imply overall hostility to all. Society does not “pick sides” in that sense, it would be lunatic if it did.

gershwin gentile

29th July 2019 at 4:01 pm

All are Abrah amic reli gions. Ab was a Je w by the w ay. Like the first one.

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 5:34 pm

Hate to contradict, but Abraham is a fictional character who lived until the age of 175. The first “Jew” would be the character Judah but those stories are made up too, there is no historical record that the Jews were ever captive in Egypt. No one claims that Abraham was Jewish, the legend goes that he is the ancestor of tribes, including Arabs and Jews.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 2:35 pm


You talk utter shit sometimes.

Id estimate that a fair percentage of your posts are among the most interesting and informative ever written on here.

But fark you talk some ill-informed horseshit and rubbish.

gershwin gentile

30th July 2019 at 3:08 pm

I think you rather like to contradict. But I’m afraid you are wrong. Abe, Isaac, then Jacob.

Winston Stanley

30th July 2019 at 3:47 pm

GG, it is not my policy to lead Bible class but I think that you will find that J ews are J udaites, the tribe of J udah, one of the 12 tribes, and the descendants of J udah, one of the 12 sons of J acob. 10 of the other tribes were “lost”, deported, and only the tribes of J udah and L evi remained. A braham had two grandsons by I saac, J acob and E sau. Ja cob usurped the first born right of his twin E sau and the convent went through him and his 12 sons. The twelve tribes were descended from J acob while other tribes were descended from E sau, the E domites. Thus A braham was not a J ew any more than he was an E domite, they were a tribe descended from one of his great grandsons. Of course it is fiction.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 6:28 pm

You continue ro fascinate.

Ed Turnbull

29th July 2019 at 2:22 pm

The police are investigating? Really? It’ll be a token investigation at best as the alleged perp in this case has many victim points in her favour: she’s a wombyn, possibly a wombyn of colour, it’s hard to tell under her Dementor constume (see Boris *that* was funnier than ‘letterbox’ or ‘bank robber’; if you’re reading I’m available for hire as your script writer for a modest stipend). And, most tellingly, she’s a member of the RoP and that constitutes utter Teflon with most of the woke public sector. As everyone knows (at least everyone who reads the Grauniad, watches al-BBC, voted remain, and thinks Extinction Rebellion have a point): criticism of the RoP, or the actions of its adherents, is ‘racist’, obviously.

So what we have here is the oppression Olympics being enacted before our eyes: the winner will be the one highest up the victim hierarchy. And I’m betting it won’t be the white gay guy (even if he happened to be a supporter of ‘Queers For Palestine’, sister organisation of ‘Turkeys For Xmas’).

What really amuses me is that the woke simply can’t comprehend that these conflicts are the inevitable consequence of identitarianism. That when you subdivide society to such an extent some groups will have ideas and opinions that are the polar opposite of other groups. Witness – and revel in – the utter bewilderment on the face of Jess Phillips when she was confronting the muslim protesters at the Birmingham schools. She just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t accept her assurance (which was verging on being an order, not surprising given her attitude of monumental entitlement) that homosexuality is wonderful. She couldn’t understand that there are people who don’t share her world view. Which, incidentally, explains why so many Remoaners can’t understand the views of Leavers, and have no actual arguments with which to engage their ideological opponents.

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 4:45 pm

“these conflicts are the inevitable consequence of identitarianism”

ID politics are a recent political development, the antipathy of religions to homosexuality predates modern ID politics by millennia. Christianity was no less stringent, eg. Romans 1.

Anti-gay attitudes were long dominant in Britain. A brief legal review: Homosexuality was illegal in Britain for at least nigh on 2000 years, at least dating back to the Roman occupation and the adoption of Roman law in 43 AD. Rome issued fresh decrees after Christianisation in the 4th century. Church law always condemned homosexuality. Henry VIII made b/ggery a death sentence in 1533, reaffirmed by Edward VI and Elizabeth I. The 1533 Act was replaced with the Offences against the Person Act 1828 under which gay sex remained a capital offence. The death penalty was abolished in 1861. Offences against the Person Act 1828 extended the legal prohibition beyond b/ggery. Sexual Offences Bill 1967 legalised gay sex in private, no one else present and not in a hotel, conditions that were removed by ECHR in 2000. ECHR found against the higher age of consent in 2001 and British law was changed.

Gays today live in extraordinarily tolerant times, something worth remembering. It is hardly surprising if some religious people are still down on it, as are RC, “an intrinsic disorder”, JW and some other Christians.

I am not sure what contemporary ID politics has to do with that. The conflicts about sex precede any political response. Muslims and RC get their attitudes directly from their religions.

Muslims, like other immigrants, were brought into Britain to expand the labour force. Again their presence precedes any political response, ID politics or otherwise.

ID politics have nothing to do with the spectacle on camera, other than as a possible response.

Gerard Barry

29th July 2019 at 2:21 pm

I do love it when the beneficiaries of identity politics (i.e. supposedly oppressed “minorities” – in this case gays and Muslims) come into conflict with each other. I also agree – despite being gay mself – with the author of this piece that the Muslim woman in question should not be prosecuted over her actions. Free speech for all. If “liberals” think that Muslims are more homophobic than the rest of the population (which they are if the treatment of gays in Muslim-majority countries is aynthing to go by), then why not try to reduce the numbers of new Muslim immigrants? If they’re not prepared to do that, they’d better be prepared to see plenty of scenes like the one above in future. You can’t have it every way.

Ed Turnbull

29th July 2019 at 2:41 pm

Reduce the number of muslims of colour coming here? Heaven (in an intersectional atheist sense, of course) forfend! The vibrant cultural enrichment must continue unabated, the toxic patriarchal white establishment of places like Wolverhampton and Sunderland must have their noses rubbed in beautiful strong diversity until they accept the wonder of intersectionality. Just wait and see: the tolerant muslims of colour gracing our benighted land with their enriching prescence will soon accept the joy of the gay lifestyle. After all, 1400 years of recorded antipathy to gayness is no predictor of future behaviour. Only a bigot would say otherwise.

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 5:08 pm

“After all, 1400 years of recorded antipathy to gayness is no predictor of future behaviour.”

Christianity has 2000 years of recorded antipathy to gays. It was a death sentence in Britain until 1861 and illegal until 1967. Attitudes do change with exposure to tolerant societies, which is why people in Britain today tend to be tolerant compared to the recent past.

Would you be happy with Muslim immigration if they were gay friendly?

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 4:57 pm

“I do love it when the beneficiaries of identity politics (i.e. supposedly oppressed “minorities” – in this case gays and Muslims) come into conflict with each other.”

You love to see people in conflict if they “benefit from ID politics”? How do they benefit, by having specific protections in law? Would you reverse the Equality Act 2006 which ensures to gays the equality of provision of goods and services? Should businesses be able to refuse service to immigrants without any protections? Perhaps you could elaborate what you mean.

Hana Jinks

29th July 2019 at 8:30 pm

The Bible is over 4000yrs old actually, and l defy you to find one word of antipathy towards gays in it.

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 9:46 pm

Winston Stanley

29th July 2019 at 10:04 pm

The NT is getting on for 2000 years old.

The OT is a different religion, about a perpetual convent for the followers of a tribal God. The Christian story of the abolition of that covenant and the established of a universal new one (hence OT, NT) is a total contradiction of the OT.

The NT has a different theology, a different and polytheistic god, the Trinity, different rites and practices, different everything. Christianity is a different religion to the OT as any J ew will tell you.

Christianity is closer to Islam with its universalism and proselytism, while Islam is closer to the OT with its monotheism and emphasis on the law. Comparative religion is interesting, you should check it out sometime.

Gerard Barry

30th July 2019 at 9:15 am

My comment doesn’t relate to laws protecting “minorities” so much as it does to modern-day PC attitudes which tell us that minorities deserve special protection. Yet any fool should be able to see that the minorities have little or nothing in common with each other. I’m a gay man yet I feel little or no solidarity with Muslims or any other minority group (apart of course from the solidarity I feel with all people on the basis of our shared humanity).

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 1:57 pm


It’s funny you say that because a close friend of mine has almost completed a masters in comparative theology. I’ve no doubt that our relationship has been damaged because of it.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 2:00 pm

I think that that’s the point Gerard that is lost on so many from the diversity side.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 2:11 pm

Aaannd Wattie..where in those texts does it imply antipathy towards homosexuals?

God doesn’t like the act, and there is a good reason for this.

God is Holy, and made the devil to be the complete opposite. Both God and the devil are spirits, and God has given the devil the power to deceive. Homosexuality is an evil spirit, and it’s a sin in God’s Eyes to succumb to it. No different to racism, exploitation, oppression or any other sin.

We are weak and human, and all sin.

Winston Stanley

30th July 2019 at 4:03 pm

Hana, I see, it is not antipathetic to gays to have them killed for their sex. Thanks for clearing that one up. I notice that you did not say the God hates the sin and loves the sinner b/c it is hard to reconcile that with depriving ppl of life. God is holy, I must remember that one. What does “holy” mean exactly, anyway? God is a “spirit”? I suspect that is a lump category for all supposed immaterial beings, an analogy taken from wind and breath, both metaphors used for the Spirit, a supposed third person of God (not third in eminence obviously but in procession). Obviously God is of a completely different order of being to the world and any descriptive terms are analogous at best. He is supposed to be incomprehensible, which means that you can only say what he is not, although even those statements would not be entirely true, as all in the world is supposedly a refection of his being. He would not be wind or breath, just insubstantial “like them”. Of course it is fiction.

Winston Stanley

30th July 2019 at 4:05 pm

* refLection

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 6:32 pm

You can utilize that tone towards me, but it debases you.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 6:36 pm

I love you more every time l speak to you.

I wish that you could comprehend…what that means in relation to …God’s love for us.

I know how gay rhat sounds…things aren’t as they seem.

Hana Jinks

30th July 2019 at 7:53 pm

They chose the bad spirit.

Winston Stanley

30th July 2019 at 10:37 pm

Yep, Satan is “the spirit of the air” and the Holy Spirit “blows where he will”. The Bible God is a sky god, “he dwells in the heavens”, the Spirit and Satan are air gods. It is naturalistic paganism at root, some are earth gods/ spirits, some are sky gods/spirits, or gods/ spirits of natural elements like air, wind and water or trees, thunder, fire etc. The Spirit is also associated with water, he comes upon people in baptism, it is a combination of older pagan nature gods, air and water. Satan is air and fire, also goats.

Hana Jinks

1st August 2019 at 10:58 am

Got modded here too.

Can’t remember what l said, but it wouldn’t have been anything worth modding.


29th July 2019 at 2:18 pm

‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’, says the veiled woman, channelling Alan Partridge, as she berates some of the participants in the march.
Oops. Surely she’s now in double trouble: once for ‘hate’ and once for the errr, rather more serious offence of apostasy? Unless Adam and Eve have a walk-on part in the Quran too? (i could be wrong in thinking they don’t)

Ed Turnbull

29th July 2019 at 2:53 pm

Actually Adam and Eve *are* in the Koran, as are most of the Old and New Testament cast. Hardly surprising given that islam was constructed by heavily plaigirising Judaism and Christianity, with bits of Arabian paganism thrown in, and slanted in such a way as to give divine sanction to a whole host of extremely base behaviours. Mainly for Mohammed’s benefit, but he’s considered by adherents of the RoP to be the ‘perfect man’, and the ‘ideal model of conduct’, and his example of deemed normative for muslims and to be emulated as far as possible.

So I think you can see why islam is a problem in the 21st century: we have a significant number of people who believe that what a sand pirate (and Mo was a caravan raider and warlord, not a ‘man of peace’ as the apologists claim) did in the 7th century is acceptable – indeed praiseworthy of Allah – in the modern world.

gershwin gentile

29th July 2019 at 4:00 pm

All are Abrahamic religions. Ab was a Jew by the way. Like the first one.

Hana Jinks

29th July 2019 at 8:32 pm

Good take, Ed.

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