Social media users identified the targeted woman as Hatun Tash, a vocal Christian preacher who often talks about the philosophy behind Islam at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London. Her identity was not confirmed by the Metropolitan Police, who are now looking for the offender.
The exact moment a woman wearing a Charlie Hebdo T-shirt was stabbed in Hyde Park in London was captured on camera and is now making rounds on social media, as police are appealing for more information to track the knifeman.
The stabbing incident took place on Sunday, with a 39-year-old woman “suffering from a minor slash injury to her head”, according to the Metropolitan Police, which were called to the scene by an ambulance at 3.34pm.
The woman is said to have been treated at the scene by medical staff before being taken to a central London hospital. Her injuries are considered to be “not life-threatening”.
A video filmed by a witness shows a large group of people standing in Hyde Park when a cloak-wearing man suddenly breaks away from the crowd and rushes towards the woman. The footage appears to show that he then stabs her several times before fleeing the scene, while being chased by the public.
Warning: The following videos and images are GRAPHIC and may offend sensibilities.
Another video posted online shows the woman in a Charlie Hebdo T-shirt awaiting ambulance, as blood pours down her face.
According to the police, they have managed to recover a knife near the scene but no arrests have been made. The police are still searching for the culprit who has not been identified.
“We know that this assault was witnessed by a number of people, many of whom captured it on their phones. I would ask them, if they have not already done so, to contact police,” said Detective Superintendent Alex Bingley from the Central West Command Unit.
“We remain in the early stages of our investigation and are working hard to trace the person responsible. I would ask people not to speculate on the motive for the attack until we have established the full facts,” the detective added.
Social media users identified the woman as Hatun Tash, a Christian preacher, who previously lived in a Muslim country but then moved to the UK, where she studied apologetics in Oxford. The European Leadership Forum page describes Tash as someone who has been “engaging with Muslims at Speakers’ Corner and in mosques every week”. According to Wiki project, Tash has been accused of fuelling hate speech against Muslims.
Charlie Hebdo is the satirical French comic magazine that was a target of a world-shaking terrorist attack in January 2015 over its repeated publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, something considered blasphemous among Muslims. 12 people died as a result of the attack and many more were injured, with the attack prompting a worldwide debate about the freedom of speech and religion.