When speaking out against Islam at Speakers’ Corner, one immediately finds oneself surrounded by Muslims in a circle formation. It’s akin to red Indians circling a cowboy wagon. It is intimidation tactics, and it ensures that there will be no escape for anyone who crosses the line. With this in mind, I’d like to pay homage to some of the fiercest critics of Islam who risk their physical well-being in order to speak out loud and proud most weekends in the face of Islamic intimidation at Speakers’ Corner in London. Oftentimes these men and women are unaccompanied and alone. The courage it takes for them to speak out on all of our behalf is immense.
Steve – has been going there for almost 2 decades. What drew him to Speakers’ Corner was the variety of speakers and topics, and that he liked that the debate and dialogue and conversations were unfettered. Today, with 80% of the Corner being dominated by aggressive Muslims, Steve continues to attend, because although the speech and ideas on offer have become more restricted, he feels it is imperative to continue to shout out against censorship and in spite of the threat of violence by Muslims in the park. I’ve watched Steve on YouTube. He is an atheist and has debated with Christians and every other denomination in the park. Only the Muslims have done violence to him, and only the Muslims cause him to look over his shoulder as he exits the park and heads for home. One of Steve’s best moments came during a call to prayer in the park by the Muslims. Steve stood next to them as they were ululating and he started singing, “Oompah, loompah, stick it up your joompah.” And he somehow lived to tell the tale.