An American student has been attacked by an Asian gang while out drinking beer with friends, in an area of East London where Muslim patrols have previously attempted to enforce sharia law.
Francesco Hounye, 22, who lives in Florida, was beaten savagely by the men who surrounded him, who kicked and punched him before smashing the bottle of beer into his face. Hounye was taken to hospital with deep slash wounds to his head. He has suffered permanent scarring and a chipped tooth.
The attack took place in an area where police say self-appointed “Muslim patrols” have been operating. The men have allegedly targeted gay Londoners, drinkers and women they consider to be dressed inappropriately.
“I am now scared to go out on my own in London," said Houyne, in a statement released by the police. "I feel very emotional about the whole situation. I also now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that will be left on my face as a result of this attack. Every time I look in the mirror from now on I will be reminded of this incident.”
In a video that was uploaded to YouTube earlier this year, a group of young Asian men can be heard threatening people as the roam the streets of Whitechapel. “This is a Muslim patrol, Muslim’s patrol the area… Alcohol is evil, no alcohol,” says one man. “Vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks,” chimes another voice.
Jordan Horner, a 19-year-old convert who took part in the Muslim patrols, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault in a London court last week. The group is accused of threatening to stab non-Muslims.
On January 6, a group of Muslim vigilantes is accused of approaching a group of men in a lively area of East London and taking cans of beer out of their hands. Horner, who has changed his name to Jamal Uddin, is alleged to have punched two of the men after saying: “Why are you poisoning your body? It is against Islam. This is Muslim Patrol. Kill the non-believers.”
Two of Horner’s alleged accomplices will stand trial next month.
Footage of the attack on an American student was released this week after the police failed to track down the assailants who ripped the drink out of his hand in the early hours of June 17. The motivation of the attackers is unknown.
Detective Constable Ben Mott said he believed the suspects were local and called upon the predominantly Muslim community to identify the men who left a tourist scarred for life. “He had come to the UK to enhance his studies and has been left so shocked and horrified by what happened that he feels unsafe and is unsure if he wants to stay here.”