Woman screaming homophobic abuse. | Photo: @YusufJP_ / Twitter
Video emerged of a woman berating a Waltham Forest Pride attendee with homophobic abuse yesterday (27 July).
The unidentified woman screamed things like, ‘shame on you’, ‘God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’, ‘despicable people’ and ‘shameless people’.
Twitter user Yusuf Patel posted the video from the East London Pride event to social media last night. It shows a steward breaking up the altercation and leading the Pride goer away.
‘Disgusting homophobic abuse at those on Waltham Forest Pride today,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
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 (@YusufJP_) July 27, 2019
Patel later tweeted: ‘Let’s be very clear here, this is sickening and is to be deplored. However, those using it to peddle Islamophobia/anti-Muslim hatred, you’re not any better.
‘Equality is for all, we must all work together to challenge all forms of hatred,’ he wrote.
Calling it out
Faizan is a non-binary Muslim from Imaan, the leading LGBTI Muslim charity in the UK.
They exclusively told Gay Star News: ‘Sadly, incidents like this from small sections of the Muslim community are increasing.
‘Incidents like yesterday give ammunition to the racists and Islamophobes, who we also battle in our fight as an LGBTI Muslim community.
‘We also have personal experience of Islamophobia and racism from the gay community too – prejudice cuts both ways,’ they said.
It’s important for LGBTI people to call out homophobia, but also not resort to Islamophobia and racism, said Faizan.
Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, also took to Twitter to call out the homophobic abuse.
‘Gutted to see this,’ she tweeted. ‘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,’ she tweeted.
She then shared a photo of LGBTI Muslim group Imaan, who also attended the Pride event yesterday.
The side of Walthamstow Pride that Katie Hopkins et al don’t want to acknowledge- want to show you’re an ally, give @ImaanLGBTQ a follow! #loveislove #lovewalthamstow https://t.co/14yAyXSyoX
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) July 28, 2019
Waltham Forest Police wrote on Twitter: ‘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.
‘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 LGBTI please report these crimes to the police,’ the spokesperson said.
The Waltham Forest Pride organizing committee sent Gay Star News a statement ‘condemning’ the incident.
‘We were delighted that people from all the major faiths, Christian, Jewish and Muslim marched alongside non-religious people to show everyone in our great borough of Waltham Forest that we’re here, queer and proud of who we are,’ the statement read. ‘[They came] to celebrate and cherish the diversity that makes us one of the greatest communities in London.
‘The police are looking into this as a potential hate crime and while we condemn all homophobic abuse, we also condemn outrightly and unequivocally all forms of hatred and abuse, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. [We] want to make it absolutely clear that this was one, lone individual and in no way do these views represent the views of any section of the local community.
‘It’s depressing, but comes as no surprise, that far-right commentators like Katie Hopkins have seized on this video and tried to use it to hasten their twisted view of society in order to stigmatize the Muslim community in Waltham Forest.
‘We utterly condemn her, and anyone else, who attempts to use this incident to fan the flames of discord between communities in our great borough. Hear this – it hasn’t worked in the past, it won’t work now, and it never will.
‘We will continue to work with the Muslim community and value their support. None of us are free until all of us are free,’ the statement read.
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