Leicester: Call for calm after Hindu-Muslim unrest in UK city | Islamophobia News & More News

 

Community leaders and native politicians in the British city of Leicester have referred to as for a right away finish to “provocation and violence” after weeks of unrest that was triggered following a cricket match between India and Pakistan late final month.

Leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities gathered on Tuesday morning on the steps of a mosque.

Pradip Gajjar, the president of the city’s Iskcon Leicester Hindu temple, learn out a joint assertion saying they had been “saddened and heartbroken to see the eruption of tension and violence”.

“Physical attacks on innocent individuals and unwarranted damage to property are not part of a decent society and indeed not part of our faiths,” he added, in accordance with a video posted by the native Leicester Mercury newspaper.

Jonathan Ashworth, an opposition Labour MP in Leicester, condemned “shocking scenes of unacceptable incidents of violence”, in an interview with Times Radio.

The politician tweeted on Monday that every one in the city “are united in calling for calm, peace and harmony”.

Dozens of individuals have been arrested in the wake of the violence in essentially the most multicultural English city that has made headlines in India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

What precipitated the outbreak of violence?

So what precipitated the outbreak of unprecedented violence in Leicester, the place Hindus and Muslims have lived peacefully for many years?

Violent avenue clashes between some members of the Hindu and Muslim communities broke out after India beat archrival Pakistan in an Asia Cup match in Dubai on August 28.

After the match, a big crowd went out on Melton Road in Leicester, a few of them waving Indian flags, to have fun India’s win over its arch foe Pakistan. Some in the group appeared to chant “Pakistan Murdabad” (demise to Pakistan), in accordance with movies shared on social media.

Police in Leicester reported a “series of incidents” in totally different components of the city over the next week.

On Saturday night time, a crowd of about 200 Hindu males marched in the city, with some shouting – “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) – a warfare cry for far-right Hindus in India. Soon Muslims got here out on the streets resulting in scuffles.

The disturbances continued into Sunday with movies posted on native media displaying giant teams of youths carrying masks and balaclavas combating in the streets.

A Hindu temple was vandalised on the weekend as a gaggle of Muslim males protested in response to Saturday’s unplanned march throughout which Muslim residents and store homeowners had been intimidated.

Some members of the Asian neighborhood in the UK say the unrest could possibly be linked to the rise in Hindu nationalism in India beneath Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), beneath which minorities, significantly Muslims, have confronted growing assaults since 2014, has been actively working among the many diaspora Hindu neighborhood.

‘We will not tolerate violence’

Police in Leicester mentioned no less than 47 individuals had been arrested. “The impact this disorder is having on our local communities is not acceptable,” Leicestershire police mentioned on Monday.

“We will not tolerate violence, disorder or intimidation in Leicester and we continue to call for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations continue with rigour and at scale.”

Police mentioned these arrested had been males, principally in their teenagers and 20s, and confronted expenses comparable to possession of offensive weapons or firearms, violent dysfunction and making threats to kill.

Police have obtained additional powers to cease and search anybody in sure areas and take minors again to their houses. They have urged towards “circulating speculation on social media”.

The city’s mayor has blamed social media disinformation for the escalation of the violence.

Community leaders are in shock on the violence in a city identified for its communal amity. Hindus and Muslims type a large part of the city’s inhabitants.

“What we have seen on the streets is very alarming,” Suleman Nagdi of the Federation of Muslim Organisations was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Sanjiv Patel from the Hindu neighborhood additionally expressed shock.

“We have lived in harmony in the city for many decades but over the past few weeks it is clear there are things that need to be discussed around the table to get out what people are unhappy about,” Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

‘A balanced view’

Dharmesh Lakhani, one other Hindu neighborhood chief, mentioned the desecration of the temple was “unacceptable”.

“I’m really proud to say on that day, when the flag was removed, there was an imam outside. He said I’m standing outside the mandir [temple], making sure nothing happens,” Lakhani was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

The India High Commission issued an announcement on Monday condemning the “vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu religion”.

“We have strongly taken up this matter with the UK authorities and have sought immediate action against those involved in these attacks.”

But the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest umbrella physique for Muslim-led organisations, criticised the Indian High Commission for its selective condemnation.

“Whilst it is right that we condemn the desecration of Hindu symbols, you must represent all Indians and also condemn the deliberate targeting, intimidation and instances of assault of Muslims and Sikhs,” Zara Mohammed, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote in a letter to the Indian High Commission.

“There is a transparent hesitancy to name out these teams who’ve instigated this thuggery and their political ideology; which they appear to be trying to import from India.

“British Indian communities expect a balanced view from the Indian High Commission, which represents all of the diaspora, which can help heal divisions locally.”

 

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