Hindu-Muslim tensions flare in central England

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At the streets of Leicester, England, teams of younger other people, principally Hindus and Muslims, were dealing with off. Since August 28, movies have proven teams of masked youths heading into the streets amid emerging tensions. Even if group leaders have referred to as for calm, many of us, together with our Observer, concern the violence will resume within the coming weeks. 

Representatives of both Hindu and Muslim communities accrued outdoor Leicester’s Jame Mosque on September 19 to name for calm. After a number of weeks of hysteria and violence involving Hindus and Muslims, they referred to as on “inciters of hatred to depart [their] town on my own”

On the similar time, tensions have taken a geopolitical flip. Each the Indian and Pakistani embassies in London have issued statements on fresh occasions, with India denouncing “violence against the Indian Community” and Pakistan regarding “Islamophobic incidents“.

‘Many pointed the finger on the Hindu group, however the attackers have been RSS supporters’

Our Observer Dee Patel has lived in Leicester for the previous 15 years. He feared for the longer term as new tensions erupted within the space on September 20 outside a Hindu temple in Smethwick, a suburb of Birmingham:

In Leicester, there were no new outbursts within the town since Sunday, and I believe it’ll stay quiet for a couple of days. However a number of voice messages which are being shared in group WhatsApp teams counsel that it is not over.

It all started on August 28 within the Belgrave space of east Leicester. Dozens of fellows, some with Indian flags, have been marching after their team’s victory over Pakistan within the Asian Cricket Cup. 

Shouts of “demise to Pakistan” have been heard because the procession moved on, earlier than a number of folks violently attacked a Sikh guy.

This episode was once introduced as the place to begin for the inter-communal tensions within the Midlands town, interpreted by means of many as opposition between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

However our Observer disagreed with this model of occasions:

Leicester is a slightly blended town. Not like different towns, other people are living in combination right here – Muslims, Hindus. There have by no means been any issues within the ultimate 50 years [Editor’s note: since the first wave of Indian immigration]. The primary issues happened ultimate Might, when a youngster was once attacked by means of about 30 other people. Many pointed the finger on the Hindu group, however the attackers have been RSS supporters.

The RSS, or “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”, is a right-wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary group, which integrated, as an example, Gandhi’s murderer.

In spite of a number of minor sporadic incidents, calm returned to the town following the occasions of August 28.

However the scenario took a flip for the more serious on September 17 all over an undeclared march by means of younger Hindu extremists.

Hundreds of young men, most of them masked and hooded, gathered in east Leicester.
Loads of younger males, maximum of them masked and hooded, accrued in east Leicester. © @Majstar7

The procession went to the east of the town, to a residential space with a Muslim majority. The protesters, a few of them from London, chanted “Jai Shri Ram”: a Hindu slogan that implies “Glory to Lord Rama” and has develop into synonymous with anti-Muslim hatred in India.


The slogan “Jai Shri Ram”, echoing in Leicester on September 17, was once popularised by means of RSS participants all over assaults on protesters adverse to India’s Citizenship (Modification) Act in 2020.


Mobilised in different places to safe the Queen’s funeral, police have been outnumbered on September 17, as observed right here on Inexperienced Lane Street.

Individuals of the Muslim group held a counter-protest.

Some protesters were separated from the Hindu extremists by the police, and were also armed with sticks (shown in red here).
Some protesters have been separated from the Hindu extremists by means of the police, and have been additionally armed with sticks (proven in purple right here). © @Majstar7

 

Later within the night time, counter-protesters persevered to confront the Hindu extremist march, nonetheless separated by means of cordons of police. They threw a number of projectiles, similar to glass bottles.

Patel defined what took place subsequent: 

The counter-protesters have been joined later within the night time by means of younger individuals who had come to battle. A lot of them were from Birmingham. And there have been silly outbursts, like harm to a Hindu temple, or damaged automotive home windows.

 

Two protesters burn a Hindu flag, while other videos show a protester tearing down another flag outside the temple.
Two protesters burn a Hindu flag, whilst different movies display a protester tearing down some other flag outdoor the temple. © @SarahLGates1

 

RSS supporters will come again. Many idea the strain was once about cricket, so they did not get entangled. However now they perceive and can pop out at some point: it is not a cricket drawback, it is a RSS drawback.

On September 21, Leicestershire police introduced that 47 other people had been arrested because the tensions erupted in overdue August.

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