Ashford Tandoori Owner Became Anti-Islam Evangelist after Discovering Muslim Staff Weren’t Extremists

From Food and Drink Guides, April 2016:

…Ian [Sleeper] took over ownership of The Singleton Tandoori [in Ashford, Kent] eighteen months ago and has gone on to create a staff-led business. It wasn’t a mere whim which led him to open a restaurant, his strong Christian faith led him to make a life-changing decision, and leave behind a career in business consultancy in order to pursue this culinary quest. It was a fork in the road that was prompted, not by a mid-life crisis, but by a spiritual revelation – the very opposite of crisis. For Ian, Singleton Tandoori was the result of a true calling from God to change his path and take on a project that would cement his faith and allow him to realise his true potential.

…Working with a team of Muslim staff, Ian has joined two cultures together, showing huge respect and consideration for both cultures and beliefs. During my thoroughly enjoyable evening spent at Singleton Tandoori, I had the chance to chat to various members of his staff and I was warmed by their generosity of spirit towards their employer, their interest in the teachings of the Bible and their appreciation of the healing power of united prayer.

…I am sure that this is only the beginning of this story…

And now at last we have the next instalment, from Premier Christian Radio today, based on a press release from Christian Concern:

A street preacher from Kent who was arrested after displaying a placard which read ‘Love Muslims, Hate Islam. Time For The Truth’ will not face any charges.

Prosecutors have informed Ian Sleeper, who was arrested outside Southwark Cathedral on 23rd June 2017, that he will face no further action.

…Mr Sleeper started displaying his placard in January 2017 after he became concerned Muslim staff at his Indian takeaway did not properly understand Islam.

In the wake of the Westminster Bridge terror attack, he switched his location from BBC Broadcasting House to Southwark Cathedral.

If Sleeper’s thought processes here are obscure, the full press release sent out by email has Sleeper’s more extended explanation:

“After reading the Qur’an and observing the behaviour of my Muslim staff, it became clear that they were not practising much of their religion’s teachings. I found this curious, and, after chatting to them about their belief, I realised this was due to their ignorance of the Quranic verses. They simply do not know what their religion teaches.”

He continued, “Their ignorance is almost on a par with the wider public’s, where the horrors and gross gender inequalities of Islam are not apparent to most people”.

…He continued: “My hope is for the world to rid itself of Islam but I feel this can be best done by creating awareness among people of Islamic truth, and I wanted to initiate a shared national conversation about Islam. Society needs to kick political correctness into the long grass and be unafraid to criticise Islam. It was political correctness and an abuse of my rights under the law that got me detained in a police cell for 13 hours”.

So, in summary: Sleeper was surprised that his Muslim staff did not conform to his view of Islam based on his reading of the Quran. After attempting to explain to them their own religion, and why they should be aware of its “horrors”, he then decided that a “national conversion about Islam” was required (presumably Sleeper doesn’t consume much media), and that he was the man to initiate it, by taking a placard to BBC Broadcasting House and then to Southwark Cathedral.

We must draw our own conclusions as to whether Sleeper continues to be guided by “spiritual revelations”, or if the “mid-life crisis” has finally arrived.


On a more serious note, police in the UK keep arresting annoying but harmless street evangelists, only for subsequent legal actions to fail. Perhaps it’s the easiest way to maintain public order, and given the reality of jihadists at large in London police might have decided to detain Sleeper for his own protection. But officers need to act within the law, and this seems to be an area where police ought to be more accountable in the use and abuse of their powers.