Scotland Yard Pays £2,500 to Christian Street Preacher Accused of Islamophobia After Wrongful Arrest

A Christian street preacher who had his Bible confiscated as he was handcuffed by police has been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest.

Footage of the arrest of Oluwole Ilesanmi pleading with police to not “take my Bible away”, has been viewed online almost three million times.

He was detained outside Southgate Tube station in February after a 999 call claimed he had been Islamophobic.

The Met said it had a right to investigate a potential hate crime.

In a video posted online, Mr Ilesanmi, 64, is seen telling police: “Jesus is on the way.”

An officer, who arrested him for breach of the peace, can be heard replying: “I appreciate that but nobody wants to listen to that. They want you to go away.”

When Mr Ilesanmi tries to keep hold of his Bible, an officer says: “You should’ve thought about that before being racist.”

Mr Ilesanmi admits describing Islam as an “aberration” but said he was expressing his point of view as a Christian rather than denigrating Muslims.

On Tuesday, Mr Ilesanmi will hand a petition to the Home Office, signed by 38,000 people, asking for greater protection for street preachers.

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