Preacher Omar Mohamad was convicted of a hate crime after making homophobic remarks towards a white, gay convert to Islam at Hyde Park’s Speakers’ Corner in 2019.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed on Wednesday that 65-year-old Mohamad, a preacher known as ‘Uncle Omar’, was convicted at City of London Magistrates Court of suing abusive, threatening, insulting words or behaviour to cause distress, alarm, or harassment towards an unnamed victim.
The incident occurred on October 6th, 2019, at London’s Speakers’ Corner, the home of British free speech. The victim, a white, gay convert to Islam, had confronted Mohamad’s associate for allegedly glorifying terrorism at the Hyde Park venue.
Mohamad turned on the man, calling him “filthy”, describing him as a “creature”, and accusing him of “spreading AIDs” before adding that the convert was “worse than a terrorist”.
This would not be the preacher’s first brush with the law, having been convicted of actual bodily harm after hitting a police officer in the face with a walking stick when a fight broke out during a Tommy Robinson rally at Hyde Park in 2018, according to The Reading Chronicle‘s report from Thursday. The Metro reported at the time that Mohamed escaped jail with a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay court costs of £250.
London’s Speaker’s Corner is Not Safe for Christians, Says Charlie Hebdo Stabbing Victim Hatun Tash https://t.co/3Hg98R5U2v
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 29, 2021
The court found Mohamad, of Reading, Berkshire, guilty, and he is due to be sentenced on September 22nd. Hate crimes, where crimes are motivated wholly or in part by a person’s race, religion, sexual preference, and other characteristics protected by law, are eligible for an increased sentence, with the CPS stating it will be applying for a “hate crime sentence uplift”.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Kalsoom Shah said: “London’s Speakers’ Corner has had a proud and longstanding tradition of providing a space for debate. But this does not mean it is a safe space for hate crimes.
“Mohamad carried out a personal attack on the victim based on his sexuality. Mohamad’s words were homophobic, hostile and designed to intimidate and discredit the victim, who was left feeling extremely upset.
“I want to thank those that called out this nasty behaviour at the time, and all those who provided statements to help the prosecution.
“Hate crime has no place in our society and the CPS will robustly prosecute offenders. I hope this conviction gives other victims of hate crime the courage to come forward.”
Speakers’ Corner was recently the site of violence, after a female Christian preacher was stabbed in July while wearing a Charlie Hebdo shirt. Hatun Tash, a Turkish convert from Islam and vocal critic of her former religion, said later that Speakers’ Corner was no longer a safe place for Christians and claimed that she had been “regularly attacked by a Muslim mob”.