The Metropolitan Police is investigating a hate crime after a Pride marcher was verbally abused by a woman.
A clip was posted to Twitter of a Muslim woman shouting at a man adorned in a pride flag at the Waltham Forest Pride event on Saturday.
“God created Adam and Eve - not Adam and Steve. [...] Shame on all of you, despicable people,” she said as the man looks on.
“We are aware of footage circulating on social media of abuse directed at those taking part in the Waltham Forest Pride event #wearewalthamforestpride and enquiries are underway. Abusing someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a hate crime,” a statement from the police force read.
“If you have been verbally or physically abused, harassed or attacked in any way by someone because you are or they think you are LGBT+ please report these crimes to police or through a third party agency.”
Reacting to the video, Stella Creasy, the Walthamstow MP, tweeted: “Gutted to see this and clear 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 #loveislove”.
Throughout Sunday morning, the MP defended Islam against critics who suggested that the abusive woman’s behaviour is a reflection of the religion’s values.
“For those asking - Just as the example of hate crime that took place in Walthamstow being circulated does not reflect all muslims, so I’d like to confirm that Katie Hopkin’s views don’t reflect those of all blonde women. #notinmyname#loveislove,” she wrote.
This came immediately after right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins shared the video, suggesting that hate crimes are prone to happen within the area because of the high number of ethnic minorities living there.
“This is Walthamstow Forest in London. 50% ethnic minority (minority?), 22% Muslim; most common minority nationality; Pakistani; most common minority language - Urdu. Do you see where we are headed yet? Waking up yet?,” she said.
The MP was quick to condemn Hopkins: “do one- @KTHopkins - don’t use walthamstow to justify your islamophobia. We see your true agenda when you don’t share the community challenging this woman AND the representation of Muslims on our pride march. You don’t defend British values with this shit-you deface them. Go away.”
When approached by HuffPost UK for comment, Creasy reiterated the views outlined in her tweets and commented on the presence of Walthamstow’s local LGBT Muslim community on the march.
In statement published on its Facebook page, Waltham Forest Pride condemned the homophobic abuse.
“We also condemn outright and unequivocally all forms of hatred and abuse,
including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and want to make it absolutely clear that this was one, lone individual and in no way do that person’s views represent the views of any section of the local community,” the statement read.
Echoing Creasy’s views, the organisation went on to take aim at Hopkins’ take on the incident. Waltham Forest Pride said it it will continue to work with the Muslim community and “values their support”.
“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 stigmatise the Muslim community in Waltham Forest.
“We utterly condemn this, and any 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. [...] None of us are free until all of us are free.”