Ex-Muslim Christian Preacher Hatun Tash Speaks Out After Assassination Plot

Hatun Tash, a Christian preacher and ex-Muslim known for her public preaching, activism, and criticism of Islam, was finally located after her friends and family said they hadn’t seen her for more than a month.

She spoke out about her experience after a plot by a British Muslim convert to kill her in London was foiled by the British police in an armed counter-terrorism operation in September 2022 and the conviction that followed in December last year.

Tash, 41, has been a victim of attacks and a target of attempted murders over her activities as a preacher and her activism, which often involved stunts such as displaying cartoons of Muhammad and even drilling holes into the Quran. She is an ex-Muslim from Turkey and converted to Christianity when she emigrated to the United Kingdom.

After she became a student at the Oxford Centre of Christian Apologetics (OCCA), she founded her ministry, Defend Christ Critique Islam (DCCI) Ministries, which “seeks to preach the Gospel to Muslims using apologetics and polemics.

The latest attempt at Tash’s life was when Edward Little, a 22-year-old British convert to Islam, was arrested just ten minutes before he obtained a gun for his planned attack at the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, where Tash regularly went to read from the Bible and critique Islam, in an armed police operation in September 2022.

The suspect was found with an envelope containing cash worth £5,000, which he planned to use to buy a gun and bullets in south London that he would employ to kill Tash. He was arrested while traveling by taxi from his home in Brighton to London.

Little, who the MI5 has monitored after he reportedly considered attacking the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II, has a history of convictions for crimes such as robbery and drug dealing. While he refused to attend his trial at the Old Bailey on December 15th last year, he pleaded guilty to preparing to commit acts of terrorism and was initially sentenced to 16 years in prison.

But this week, the jail sentence for Little was increased from 16 to 24 years. While this attempt against her life was successfully thwarted, some of those who attacked and tried to kill Tash remained at large.

One such case was in July 2021, when an unknown assailant slashed Tash’s face while she was speaking at the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. Despite the attack occurring in broad daylight in front of a crowd and with significant police presence, the suspect was never apprehended and remains at large.

Tash, who was 39 at the time and was wearing a Charlie Hebdo t-shirt when the attack occurred, said the lack of action by police officers contributed to her being assaulted and almost killed.

"My attacker was not even afraid of the police as he did it right in front of them," Tash said. "It is heartbreaking that we live in a society where police do not want to arrest a Muslim, for fear of being called ‘Islamophobic.’”

After the planned assassination attempt against her and the subsequent conviction of the suspect, Tash’s whereabouts became unknown, much to the worry of her friends, colleagues, and family. She was reported missing by many Christian news outlets.

In January, Tom Goodenough, an online editor for the conservative news magazine The Spectator, reported that Tash was safe after the Metropolitan Police launched a missing persons case to find her. But despite confirming that the ex-Muslim Christian preacher was all right, they wouldn’t be able to tell where she was or how they knew she was all right.

While Little would remain in prison for a long time, Tash told Goodenough that she still feels unsafe.

I don’t feel safe at all,” Tash told Goodenough over the phone after Little’s conviction. “There are lots of other individuals (who might be) planning or thinking the same thing. Recently, I got followed…by a couple of individuals. I don’t get scared that much. But sometimes, if you are on a quiet road and if your phone is about to die, and there are men behind you, you’re just like: no one is going to find my body.

I’m not brave,” Tash also told Goodenough, “But…you’ve got to make a choice. Do you want to deal with it, or you just want to just keep quiet. And shut down? Once they know they have (silenced you), they can stop you. Then it’s a win for them. But they’ve been winning quite a long time. I don’t have much to lose.

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