Cllr Anthony Stevens, 50, from Wellinborough, Northamptonshire, told the media that British police came to his home and escorted him to a local police station for questioning over the retweets, which occurred on his personal Twitter (now known as "X") account with a whopping 76 followers.
The incident with Christian street preacher Oluwole Ilisanmi occurred in Southgate, London, back in 2019. Police officers snatched Ilisanmi's Bible after accusing him of engaging in Islamophobia – Islam does not recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and instead puts the "prophet" Muhammad on a pedestal.
It turns out that the state was deemed to be in the wrong, and Ilisanmi was later awarded £2,500 (roughly $3,200) for his wrongful arrest.
(Related: Did you know that Brits caught committing "hate crimes" can lose access to the government-run National Health Service [NHS]?)
In the video that Cllr Stevens shared and was arrested for, a British police officer was seen stating that Muslim preachers are allowed to preach on the street but not Christian preachers because the latter are preaching "hate."
Cllr Stevens, a member of the Wellingborough Town Council, says he was told by British police officers that the video he shared via a retweet was originally posted by a member of Britain First, a far-right political party in the UK.
Cllr Stevens responded by stating that he had no idea who originally shared the video, nor was he even aware of what Britain First is. The only reason he posted the video, Cllr Stevens then said, is because it shows "disturbing evidence of religious discrimination in law enforcement."
British police further persecuted Cllr Stevens by questioning why he tweeted support for Cllr King Lawal, a fellow councillor in Northamptonshire who was similarly "canceled" for expressing his Christian beliefs in relation to LGBT issues.
Cllr Lawal, 31, is the only black councillor in Northamptonshire. He was suspended by his local Conservative group back in July after he responded to various Pride parade images with the following statement:
"When did pride become a thing to celebrate. Because of pride, Satan fell as an archangel. Pride is not a virtue but a sin. Those who have pride should repent of their sins and return to Jesus Christ. He can save you."
Later that same month, Cllr Stevens retweeted a petition calling for Cllr Lawal's positions within the Conservative party to be reinstated, writing:
"If you value free speech please sign and share."
Because of this particular retweet, law enforcement grilled Cllr Stevens even more, to which he told them that he is a "free speech absolutist." Even if he does not agree with someone's speech, Cllr Stevens still supports it.
To this, British police further grilled Cllr Stevens by asking him if he supports the idea that pride is a sin, including at LGBT events, to which Cllr Stevens stood his ground and reiterated that "it did not matter whether he agreed with what he said or not; he believed he had the right to say it without having his life torn apart."
Cllrs Stevens and Lawal would both make great liberty-minded politicians in the United States, would they not? In many ways, they are more constitutional than our own politicians – and very bravely so – and would be welcomed with open arms were they to relocate here (wink, wink).
"Hate speech" laws are a Trojan horse way of stealing people's freedom of speech. Learn more at FirstAmendment.news.
Sources for this article include: