Abdurraheem Green

Abdurraheem Green was brought up a Catholic and spent many years as a young adult exploring spirituality and philosophy. He first encountered Speakers’ Corner as a recent convert to Islam in the 1990s, and was irritated by a Christian preacher. He researched critiques of the Bible and heckled Christians for one year. Once he started speaking, he got “pay back” and hecklers “surrounded him like a pack of wolves.” He talks about the etiquette of being a new speaker, mindful of a well-established Muslim speaker Murad ad-Deen already there. He got “a fight or flight” adrenalin rush each time he prepared to speak. Even thinking about it now makes Abdurraheem nervous, though he is a highly accomplished speaker, thanks to Hyde Park’s intense and chaotic “training ground.” Abdurraheem soon felt that anti-Christian arguments were not moving things forward, so he began explaining Islamic philosophy as well as critiquing western foreign policy. He stopped speaking after a decade because it was too draining to continue alongside other work commitments, but he is proud to have been a part of it. To this day he dislikes speaking in darkened auditoriums where he cannot see and connect with his audience so readily.

Audio of Abdurraheem

“A game of chess”

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“Fight or flight”

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Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

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© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

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© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

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Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

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