Here’s why Tommy Robinson is at Speaker’s Corner on Sunday.
CONTENT WARNING: Islamophobia, racism, mention of rape. Out of respect of the Muslim community, we have chosen to cover features of the Prophet Muhammad in screenshots included in this article, but please note that drawings will be visible in externally linked media.
Yes, Tommy Robinson is crawling back out from under his rock and has called a demo at Speaker’s Corner this coming Sunday. He’s even claiming that he’ll show up himself this time (fourth time lucky).
During a short video released on Tuesday earlier this week, Tommy called for his supporters to attend Speaker’s Corner on Sunday, “sometime from 11am” with “flowers and chocolates” as a show of love for a known controversial regular called Hatun Tash. Tommy claims that Hatun was “violently attacked by young Muslims for expressing free speech in a calm and disciplined manner” in an incident which took place at the park the previous weekend.
Stephen Andrew Paul Wayne Tommy Five-Names isn’t one for telling the truth by any stretch, especially when it comes to his own personal gain, so let’s take a closer look.
Who is Hatun Tash?
Hatun Tash is the director of a Christian missionary group called DCCI Ministries – DCCI standing for “Defend Christianity, Critique Islam”. DCCI describe themselves as seeking “to preach the Gospel to Muslims using apologetics and polemics”, which Hatun claims to do through attending Speaker’s Corner as well as mosques on a weekly basis.
Hatun has been described by other Speaker’s Corner regulars as an Islamophobic provocateur. A look at several incidents at the park show Hatun to engage in unwanted physical contact with Muslim attendees, personal attacks on the Muslim community as well as denigration of the religion of Islam (e.g claiming that “Muslims curse Jews and Christians in prayer 17 times a day”). As folk become riled up, Hatun claims to prove her assertion that Muslims are aggressive and cannot have a debate with her.
Some documented examples:
- In a September 2020 recording of a conversation from Speaker’s Corner [WATCH HERE] at approximately 2:40, another Christian missionary calls out Hatun for praising the rape of a Muslim woman by two Christian men.
- In the week that followed the Grenfell atrocity in June 2017, Hatun was filmed claiming the response from the Muslim community as “seeking fame” and “showing off”. [WATCH HERE] This was in reference to those of Muslim faith who sounded the alarm and assisted in the search and rescue of Grenfell residents, having been awake due to Ramadan, along with the subsequent efforts to provide shelter and aid by groups such as Muslim Aid.
- In October 2017, Hatun and another missionary held up a Ku Klux Klan handbook alongside the Quran during a presentation in which they suggested the handbook was deliberately named the “Kloran” because of their likeness with Islam, and mocked nearby Muslims by intentionally misnaming one for the other during their speech (they neglected to mention that the KKK claim to be a Christian organisation). [VIDEO BELOW]
- In the above video, Hatun and a missionary associate are shown describing an ex-Christian Muslim convert “as a dog returns to their vomit”.
- Hatun has been seen to embrace Muslim men against their wishes and goading and pressuring them into shaking her hand, accusing them of “not showing love” while claiming that her forced contact is showing that she is “loving them”. When told on one occasion that it should be the mens’ choice to share contact, her response was “It’s not your choice, you are forced for that” and proceeded despite clear requests to stop. This footage is also included in the video above.
- Another video shows Hatun to deliberately intervene in Muslim prayer at the park. [WATCH HERE]
- She regularly attends the spot in Hyde Park carrying copies of the Quran with holes drilled into them, claiming that this is show that there are “holes in the narrative”. She also carries hand drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, along with a copy of the Charlie Hebdo magazine issue with the infamous front cover.
On Sunday 25th October, Hatun was at speakers corner with the drilled Quran and caricature drawings, holding them as she engaged in a debate on camera with some Muslim folk. The conversation was disrupted when a bypasser lunged into the group and struck her across the face, knocking off her glasses. This man was immediately restrained by those around him, and then frogmarched by the growing crowd to a nearby cop. Videos of the aftermath show the crowd following and heckling the man as he was escorted from the park.
The assault was captured on camera and has gone viral on far right social media circles, with the story quickly twisted with the exaggerated claim that Hatun was attacked by “Muslim men” and that she was brutally beaten and knocked unconscious. The footage in fact shows the lone actor being subdued by the Muslim folk around him who had been listening to the conversation as soon as he strikes her. Since the event, many regulars at Speaker’s Corner have taken to social media to condemned the individual for his actions and to state that he is no longer welcome at the park, while more videos of the aftermath have emerged showing the man responding to anti-Muslim heckling as he was escorted away, claiming that he is in fact a Christian.
A fundraiser was also set up by an American supporter of DCCI Ministries to “buy Hatun new glasses”, which quickly escalated into $10,000 of donations, all of which has now been passed to Hatun and DCCI Ministries.
So… Why is Tommy Robinson Getting Involved?
Well, because he’s an opportunist and sees inflaming the situation as his meal ticket back into the far right’s good books.
First off, Tommy and Hatun are no strangers. In fact they are mutually supportive – they have streamed together on Youtube, and DCCI Ministries promoted Tommy’s anti-Islam books. The same as with Tommy, Hatun is less concerned with being a “good Christian” and more on capitalising on anger from Muslims driven by Islamophobic sentiments and hate speech. Sound familiar? They are two peas in a pod.
Tommy’s involvement here however, is less about support for Hatun and more about stirring tensions with the Muslim community for his own personal profit. In recent times, the cult-like support for Tommy Robinson has steadily waned as the far right have become fed up with paying for his expensive court cases, holidays and coke habit. Donations have dried up from an alleged £2 million last year, to a fraction of that sum. By Tommy’s own definition, he is skint.
Many of the far right feel cheated by Tommy running off with their donations, reflected in his dwindling social media numbers. His official chat group once had a membership of several thousand users, but a steady decline has seen that number drop to around 700. And the tensions are not just felt financially – the continuous infighting of some of the “personality patriots” within the movement has contributed heavily to disillusionment. Just a week ago, the likes of Nigel Marcham (aka Nobby Robinson, the “Little Veteran”) being the latest to embark on a slandering match with Tommy’s right hand man Glen Saffer (hated by just about everybody but Tommy). This is leading ex-followers to seek a new cult of personality in neo-Nazi Mark Collett, leader of Patriotic Alternative.
With the Tommy Robinson movement being fed up and split up, it is no surprise that Big Man Himself is looking for redemption by getting back on the ground. Plus, he’s got his kids out of the picture now (he’s “sending them to three different schools in three different areas”, nice) so expect this Tommy Robinson to return with a vengeance and a fresh desire to agitate. In the wake of the horror of recent terrorist attacks in France, the man will be only be seeing more pound signs.
A host of far right livestreamers and groups have already confirmed their attendance for this Sunday. If Tommy’s last park appearance is anything to go by, expected the event to be less about a “show of love” for this racist woman, and more about a return of the Oh Tommy Tommy’s. We’ll be watching closely.