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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Timeline by Insight UK lays bare the chilling and systematic anti-Hindu violence in Leicester, UK

Leicester is burning and Hindus are scared for their lives. After rampaging by thousands of radical Islamists against Hindus on 3 consecutive nights of 4th September, 5th September and 6th September, now there are fake cases being filed against Hindus by these Islamists, rumours spread on social media and violence incited against Hindus in Leicester.

WHY LEICESTER

Leicester is the heartland of the Hindu community in the UK, having thrived there for more than 70 years. Leicester has the second highest Hindu population in Europe. It hosts the largest Diwali celebration outside Bharat and has acted as a hub for the British Hindu community to live peacefully for decades.

DEMOGRAPHICS OF LEICESTER

Leicester Demography 

  • Christian: 181,882 (32.4%)
  • Muslim: 104,413 (18.6%)
  • Hindu: 85.327 (15.2%)
  • Sikh: 24,700 (4,4%)
  • Buddhist: 2 245 (0.40)
  • Jewish: 561 (0.1%)

Political Demography of Leicester

The current composition of Leicester City Council out of 54 seats:

  • Labour: 50
  • Independent: 2
  • Lib Dems: 1
  • Conservative: 1

BANTER BETWEEN CRICKET FANS

Sunday 28 August 2022

Bharatiya cricket fans of all religious backgrounds celebrated on the streets of Leicester after Bharat’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup cricket match, just as they have done without any incident for the past 70 years. The police presence is usually low as the risk of incidence is low. The fans sang celebratory chants, none of which were offensive. Extraordinarily they were confronted by a man who was abusive towards them, and violently snatched a Bharat flag out of a fan’s hand, assaulting him and those around him. In response, he was confronted by Bharatiya cricket fans who were upset at the man’s abusive behaviour and disrespect shown to the Bharatiya national flag. He was physically rebuked by a handful of cricket fans. A few of the Bharatiya cricket fans tried to calm the man down and looked after him to ensure that the situation was under control. Fans chanted ‘Pakistan Murdabad’, meaning ‘down with Pakistan’, in reference to the defeat of its cricket team at the hands of the Bharatiya cricket team. No mention of Islam or Muslims was made. No political sloganeering was chanted. The cricket fans consisted of all faith backgrounds. 

Over the following days, Sunny Hundal (extreme left-leaning journalist, former deputy editor for the Independent), Guz Khan (comedian and actor), and many others on social media stoked the flames of religious hatred by falsely equating the cricket fans with Hindus, the Hindu community, and non-existent Hindu extremists. Warnings were made on social media that violence will soon be coming from the Muslim community. Nothing against Muslims or Islam has been uttered, but the false narrative spreads like wildfire.

An email sent on 31 August from the police (Chief Inspector Paul Allen) to the Leicester Council of Faiths, states that there were chants, “calling for (we believe) ‘death to Muslims’ in Hindi.” This did not happen and there is no evidence for this. Some simple due diligence, checking the videos or consultation with the community for the translation would have provided this clarity. This careless and false statement continues to be repeated and used by radical Islamists to incite violence against Hindus, on the basis of something which did not transpire. 

Thursday 1 September 2022

On 1st September, Chief Inspector Paul Allen sent a clarification email that states

  • Good morning all, I need to provide an important update regarding the allegations that we are investigating in relation to the cricket last Sunday.
  • On Tuesday afternoon it was reported that the chanting which had taken place, some of which was captured on video and was circulated on social media, including the phrases (in Hindi) “Death to Pakistan” and “death to Muslims”.  We have investigated this and can find no verifiable evidence that there were any chants of “death to Muslims”.  This is significant in terms of the context and I would encourage you to share this with interested parties.

In spite of the appeal by the Police in the email to share this clarification widely, this was not widely shared unlike the first letter which created unwarranted anger against Hindus and incited violence.

Claudia Webbe is the Member of Parliament for Leicester East. The Leicester East constituency is where the violence against the Hindu community has occurred. Formerly of the Labour Party, she was expelled after a criminal conviction of harassment in October 2021. She is well known for her anti-Bharat comments and rhetoric. 

On September 1st, she wrote a letter to the Police Chief Constable declaring her support for the Federation of Muslim Organisations. She shared this widely and publicly through her social media. This letter was issued three days after the clash between cricket fans, which was falsely portrayed as a clash between Hindu and Muslims. 

However, it has now been over 10 days since the violent attacks against the Hindu community escalated, and she is yet to make any comment in support of the Hindu community or even directly engage with the victims who are also her constituents. 

Sunday 4 September 2022

Another Asia Cup cricket match between Bharat and Pakistan took place, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. What followed was not a clash between sports fans, but targeted violence directed at the Hindu community. The Hindu community had been celebrating the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi on this night when they were attacked by hundreds of radical islamist. In one home, after the evening aarti (prayer), people remained inside sitting and talking. The house had a Hindu religious flag outside for the festival, making it clear to any passer-by that this is a Hindu home where they are welcome to come for prayers. The gentlemen were sitting near the Ganesh murti. The ladies were making a garland for the puja (a Hindu ritual) the next day. The front door of the house had been left open so that other members of the community could enter for darshan (offer prayers). At this point, eggs were thrown into the house through the front door. This is a matter of deep religious insensitivity, especially at the time a religious celebration was taking place. This would be similar to throwing pork into a Muslim or Jewish household. The Hindu family who lives at the property went outside to see who was doing this. They were met by a gang of Muslim youths, with the perpetrators attacking one of the Hindu boys with a long knife. Fortunately, he escaped from harm. The boy’s aunt went to aid the boy and was shockingly punched on the nose.

It was reported that there was a white van full of eggs used by attackers, which was later seized by police later when they arrived but there has been no update on this from the local police.

Monday 5 September 2022

Appeals had been made to all communities to stay calm by community leaders and the police. The Hindu community listened and remained inside their homes. These appeals appeared to fall on deaf ears, as there were hundreds of Muslim youths on the streets of Leicester, including some from neighbouring towns. There are dozens of videos available and shared widely of the mob. Derogatory anti-Hindu and anti-Bharat chanting was abundant, as well as Islamic sloganeering. The police confirmed the arrest of two men from Birmingham in relation to the incidents that occurred that night. A video shows a crowd on a street outside the home with the Hindu flag, where eggs had been thrown the previous day. A member of the crowd was wielding a knife and stabbed a Hindu male. Someone tried to stab another Hindu boy, who ran to another house. The mob followed them and broke the windows of the house as they tried to force entry. Fortunately, the family was able to save the boy. The flag was forcibly removed from the front of the house where eggs had been thrown and was carried away. This was one incident of many to have taken place that night.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

There was a greater police presence on the streets of Leicester. Once again, hundreds of Muslims were out in force and the Hindu community was in a state of fear. Around fifty incidents took place, including damage to houses, windows and cars, and threatening and intimidating residents by loudly knocking on their doors [10]. Wherever a house or car had Hindu symbols such as an Aum symbol or Ganesh murti, demonstrating it was owned by Hindus, it was attacked. Significant damage was done to the entrances of two homes. A newly married young lady was at home alone. Her front door was broken by attackers who wanted to enter. In another home, the bottom of the door was smashed in from the outside. When asked why their house was selected, the family said that the auspicious Hindu words ‘Shubh’ and ‘Labh’ were written above their doorway. This was an attack by Muslim extremists on peaceful Hindus. Again, the mob chanted anti-Hindu and anti-Bharat sentiments, as well as Islamic slogans. 

Such violence has rarely happened before in the UK and threatens the peace and social fabric of the community. Hindus had remained inside their homes and listened to the appeals of their community leaders to remain calm. The Hindu community has not been informed of the messages shared to the Muslim community by their community leaders. If they had called for calm, the Hindu community did not see evidence of it. 

Wednesday 15 September 2022

There were two reported incidents on this day in East Leicester. 

A 22-year-old man from Prospect Hill, Leicester was assaulted by two suspects while he was in his car. He had received a cut lip after being. It is reported that this was an unprovoked incident and the victim was targeted after his identity was confirmed as a Hindu.

The second happened on Coral Street at approximately 5pm when a group of youths were approached by two cars. CCTV footage available shows that the group of youths on foot were stopped and people in the first car engaged in a confrontation. The boys started running away as soon as the second car arrived and one person came out walking towards them. Fortunately no one was injured. Was it another planned and unprovoked attack on Hindus in Leicester? 

Community Meetings and Attempts to Build a False Narrative

A meeting was held with various community leaders to conduct peace talks, with the police requesting community leaders to attend. During one of these meetings, an imam of one Mosque said that the Hindu community had been living in Leicester for the past forty to fifty years without causing any issues. He characterised the Hindus who had recently migrated to Leicester from the Daman-Diu area of Bharat as “uneducated people” who were instead the problem. This is an attempt to divide the Hindu community. It was openly claimed at this meeting, in the presence of police officers, that this was a result of the changing political scenario in Bharat. No direct evidence was offered for such claims. Another Muslim representative questioned why there were “orange RSS flags” on the houses. The saffron flag is an ancient Hindu emblem used by the whole Hindu community. It is displayed on Hindu Mandirs and community halls throughout the country and the world. This was a blatant attempt to shift the blame from the violent mob to the victims, the Hindu community itself, by painting a false narrative of the existence of Hindu extremism influenced by politics in India. No evidence was presented for any of these statements, rather what could only be described as racist scaremongering. 

The Impact

Many houses and properties of Hindus were damaged. Two Hindu men survived an attack with knives, many injured including women and one man is in hospital now on 15th September.

The Hindus of the area remain in fear after three consecutive nights of rampage. The Hindus in the impacted area did not leave their house and did not send their children to school for 3 to 4 days last week. The local Hindus have removed Aum symbols and the words ‘Shubh Labh’ from the front of their homes. Devotees of Mata ji, the mother Goddess, have removed any photos that were on display in their windows and cars so that the houses or cars cannot be recognised as Hindu homes from the street to safeguard from recurrence of targeted attacks.

A video has been shared widely where young girls are performing the traditional folk dance of Garba in public. In the video, a man using derogatory language raises a question as to why they are doing this in front of a Mosque. Garba represents a celebration of the feminine divine; to raise such questions is to demonstrate intolerance of other communities openly practising their traditions. 

Incidents such as these are not new in Leicester. In July 2017, radical Islamists pushed a Hindu man carrying a Bharatiya flag off his motorbike, causing him serious injury. No firm action was taken by the police then, and many more incidents are happening now. 

Violence and significant threats of violence continue unabated against the Hindu community. Social media has become a hotbed for Hindu hatred, and incitement to violence against the Hindu community is a real threat. The anti-Hindu chanting of the mobs clearly indicates their hatred for Hindus. 

There was no threat from the Hindu community before, and there is no threat now. Even after all the Leicester Hindu community has suffered, nothing against Muslims or Islam has been uttered by the community to this day. 

Extremism has been a substantial blight on our society for decades, but it hasn’t come from the Hindu community. Unfortunately, the past few weeks clearly indicate that Hindus are fast becoming the biggest and most targeted victim of it. How are the authorities going to guarantee the safety of the Hindu community from extremists when serious violence can occur at any time? 

(This article was first published on Insight UK on September 17, 2022, and has been republished with consent)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hate begets hate, not happiness. Today Muslims are hating the Hindus, tomorrow they’ll hate the Christians, Jews and so on. Eventually, the same hate will engulf them into Shia-Sunni violence.
    So those religious fanatics who spew venom of hate on the basis of religion will eventually hit the final nail to their own coffins!
    The Muslims residing at and working in the UK are all well-educated. But surprisingly (and quite unfortunately), their educational background could not transcend their mindset from religious bigotry and hate syndrome to openmindedness to support objective and logical analysis.

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