Clad woman charged with hate crime offence

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LONDON: A woman has been charged with a hate crime public order offence following a homophobic incident at Waltham Forest Pride. Jamila Choudhury, 38, from east London, was charged on Thursday after being arrested on Monday 29 July in connection to the event which took place at the annual LGBTQ+ celebration.

On 28 July, a clip was posted to Twitter of a Muslim woman shouting at a man adorned in a pride flag at the event.  “God created Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve. […] Shame on all of you, despicable people,” the woman in the video said as the man looks on.

At the time, the Metropolitan Police released the following statement: “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.” 

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy swiftly condemned the abuse while defending Islam against critics who suggested that the abusive woman’s behaviour is a reflection of the religion’s values.

In a statement published on its Facebook page at the time, Waltham Forest Pride also denounced the incident. “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. Choudhury is due to appear on bail at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 3 October.