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

Neighborhood leaders and native politicians within the British metropolis of Leicester have referred to as for an instantaneous 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 town’s Iskcon Leicester Hindu temple, learn out a joint assertion saying they had been “saddened and heartbroken to see the eruption of stress and violence”.

“Bodily assaults on harmless people and unwarranted harm to property aren’t a part of a good society and certainly not a part of our faiths,” he added, in keeping with a video posted by the native Leicester Mercury newspaper.

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

The politician tweeted on Monday that each one within the metropolis “are united in calling for calm, peace and concord”.

Dozens of individuals have been arrested within the wake of the violence in probably the most multicultural English metropolis that has made headlines in India, Pakistan and the UK.

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 road 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 Street in Leicester, a few of them waving Indian flags, to have a good time India’s win over its arch foe Pakistan. Some within the crowd appeared to chant “Pakistan Murdabad” (dying to Pakistan), in keeping with movies shared on social media.

Police in Leicester reported a “sequence of incidents” in several elements of town over the next week.

On Saturday evening, a crowd of about 200 Hindu males marched within the metropolis, with some shouting – “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) – a conflict cry for far-right Hindus in India. Quickly 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 sporting masks and balaclavas combating within the streets.

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

Some members of the Asian group within the UK say the unrest might be linked to the rise in Hindu nationalism in India beneath Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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

‘We is not going to tolerate violence’

Police in Leicester mentioned a minimum of 47 folks had been arrested. “The influence this dysfunction is having on our native communities just isn’t acceptable,” Leicestershire police mentioned on Monday.

“We is not going to tolerate violence, dysfunction or intimidation in Leicester and we proceed to name for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations proceed with rigour and at scale.”

Police mentioned these arrested had been males, largely of their teenagers and 20s, and confronted prices equivalent to possession of offensive weapons or firearms, violent dysfunction and making threats to kill.

Police have obtained further powers to cease and search anybody in sure areas and take minors again to their houses. They’ve urged in opposition to “circulating hypothesis on social media”.

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

Neighborhood leaders are in shock on the violence in a metropolis identified for its communal amity. Hindus and Muslims kind a large part of town’s inhabitants.

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

Sanjiv Patel from the Hindu group additionally expressed shock.

“We now have lived in concord within the metropolis for a lot of a long time however over the previous few weeks it’s clear there are issues that have to be mentioned across the desk to get out what persons are sad 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 group chief, mentioned the desecration of the temple was “unacceptable”.

“I’m actually proud to say on that day, when the flag was eliminated, there was an imam exterior. He mentioned I’m standing exterior the mandir [temple], ensuring nothing occurs,” Lakhani was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

The India Excessive Fee issued an announcement on Monday condemning the “vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu faith”.

“We now have strongly taken up this matter with the UK authorities and have sought speedy motion in opposition to these concerned in these assaults.”

However the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest umbrella physique for Muslim-led organisations, criticised the Indian Excessive Fee for its selective condemnation.

“While it’s proper that we condemn the desecration of Hindu symbols, you will need to characterize all Indians and likewise condemn the deliberate focusing on, intimidation and situations of assault of Muslims and Sikhs,” Zara Mohammed, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote in a letter to the Indian Excessive Fee.

“There’s a clear 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 count on a balanced view from the Indian Excessive Fee, which represents the entire diaspora, which may also help heal divisions domestically.”

In Taiwan’s Kinmen, people hope for calm amid China tensions | Politics News

Kinmen Islands, Taiwan – A storm is raging throughout the small Taiwanese island of Kinmen.

On an empty seashore alongside the island’s west coast, sturdy waves pound a line of rusty defensive stakes, secured in concrete foundations, that run just like the spikes on a hedgehog’s again alongside the rocky coastal stretch.

Additional up the seashore, regardless of the wild climate, Kinmen residents Robin Younger and Ne-Xie Wang are watching the waves crash in opposition to the shore. Behind them, the wind is howling by way of the cracks of outdated army outposts and lengthy deserted American-made tanks.

The fortifications as soon as shaped the spine of the defences of western Kinmen, the place Taiwan correct is 200km (124 miles) away and the Chinese language mainland lower than 5 (three miles).

Because the storm sweeps away a gaggle of low-hanging clouds over the water, the Chinese language mainland and the towers of the Chinese language metropolis of Xiamen emerge from the gloom.

With the wind threatening to tear off his jacket and masks, Younger gestures in direction of Xiamen after which factors right down to the seashore.

“If the Chinese language assault Taiwan, the primary assault will come right here.”

The drums of battle

A Chinese language assault on Kinmen shouldn’t be a theoretical state of affairs.

On the finish of the Chinese language civil battle in 1949, Kinmen was amongst a gaggle of outlying islands that remained within the fingers of the defeated Nationalists, together with Taiwan itself. The Communists tried twice to seize Kinmen, however each occasions had been repulsed by Nationalist forces.

As an alternative, the Communists performed an incessant artillery barrage of Kinmen for greater than twenty years in an try and pound the Nationalists and the folks of Kinmen into submission.

Jangongyu Islet with Xiamen's skyline in the background
The skyline of the Chinese language metropolis of Xiamen is seen by way of the haze from Kinmen and its surrounding islets [Frederik Kelter/Al Jazeera]

On the similar time, the Nationalists successfully turned the island right into a army colony the place the variety of troopers at occasions surpassed the overall inhabitants of about 100,000 Kinmenese.

It was solely as Taiwan democratised that Kinmen started to open up – first to the remainder of Taiwan, and on the flip of the century to Chinese language vacationers as nicely.

However in recent times, tensions between China and Taiwan have been rising steadily as soon as extra, and with US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan on August 2, the state of affairs exploded into the worst disaster between the 2 international locations in additional than 25 years.

The Chinese language responded to Pelosi’s go to by conducting their largest-ever army workouts within the Taiwan Strait and sending missiles throughout Taiwan’s important island.

Tanks had been deployed to the seashores of Xiamen, and Taiwan drove away drones despatched over Kinmen by Chinese language forces.

Ne-Xie Wang takes a short stroll from the seashore to Kinmen’s largest city of Jincheng, not removed from the place the previous plane upkeep technician was born and introduced up.

He laments the state of affairs between China and Taiwan and fears hassle forward: “The connection has actually soured shortly in recent times.”

For 56-year-old Wang, as we speak’s state of affairs has echoes of his childhood, when he and his pals must rush to the closest bomb shelter each time the Chinese language fired an artillery barrage in opposition to the island.

“In my thoughts, each side ought to do every part of their energy to keep away from additional escalation,” he says.

“In any other case, I’m afraid that the Kinmenese would be the first to pay a heavy worth.”

Defensive stakes along the West coast of Kinmen
Defensive stakes line the seashore on Kinmen’s west coast. Up to now, the variety of troopers stationed on the island exceeded the civilian inhabitants [Frederik Kelter/Al Jazeera]

Su Ching Tune was born in Kinmen however has been dwelling in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, since shifting there to check at college 15 years in the past.

She can be afraid that her native Kinmen would be the first victims of rising tensions.

“I don’t suppose the federal government in Taipei is with out fault if it ends in a Chinese language assault,” she stated over WhatsApp, providing Pelosi’s go to for example.

“The DPP (Democratic Progressive Social gathering) authorities in Taipei will need to have recognized that her go to would provoke a powerful response from China, however they let her come anyway. I don’t help the aggressive Chinese language response, however DPP is on the similar time being very dismissive of China’s crimson strains, and the Chinese language-Taiwanese relationship shouldn’t be going to get higher if each side deliberately provoke one another.”

‘Small fish’

Fisher Kuan-Lin Yu needs that he may return to the time when relations throughout the Taiwan Strait had been much less politically heated.

Again then, he labored as a driver and tour information for Chinese language vacationers coming to Kinmen. That ended when borders had been closed following the primary outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, and Yu returned to fishing.

“Earlier than the present authorities in Taipei got here to energy [in 2016], it appeared that China and Taiwan had been rising nearer to the advantage of everybody together with the Kinmenese,” he stated.

On the similar time, Yu understands why the connection has deteriorated.

An American-made Taiwanese tank abandoned in the sand of a beach on the South coast of Kinmen
An American-made Taiwanese tank deserted within the sand on a seashore on Kinmen’s south coast
[Frederik Kelter/Al Jazeera]

Beijing claims Taiwan as its personal territory and has taken an more and more assertive method to the island because the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen — who opposes unification — was elected. She received a second election victory in a landslide in 2020.

Even earlier than the army drills this month, Beijing had been sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone regularly. It has not dominated out using drive to take the island and reiterated that menace in a white paper revealed on Wednesday.

“With the DPP authorities’s flirting with formal independence for Taiwan on one hand and the Chinese language meddling in Hong Kong and their aggressive rhetoric in direction of Taiwan on the opposite, I perceive why each side have hassle seeing eye to eye as of late,” Yu stated.

“Nonetheless, I’d a lot fairly that the Chinese language spend their cash right here than (on) their artillery ammunition.”

Wu Tseng-dong holds one such piece of ammunition in his arms in his workshop in central Kinmen.

“It was a present from Chairman Mao,” he jokes, chuckling earlier than he locations the shell on the ground.

The artillery shell is empty and simply one of many a whole bunch of hundreds that struck Kinmen in the course of the many years of Chinese language bombardment.

Wu crafts the metal within the outdated Chinese language shells into kitchen knives, which he sells in his workshop.

“It’s about turning battle and battle into one thing constructive,” he says earlier than attending to work with a chopping torch on the shell.

Lower than half-hour later, Wu has turned it right into a knife.

“I see what I make right here as a logo of peace at a time the place we’re heading dangerously near battle.”

Wu at work on an old shell with a cutting torch
Wu crafts a kitchen knife out of an outdated Chinese language shell [Frederik Kelter/Al Jazeera]

For Kinmen, there are legit causes to be involved, based on Chen Fang-Yu, who’s an assistant professor at Soochow College in Taipei and research the political relations between Taiwan, China and the US.

He says that though China now possesses ballistic missiles and plane carriers, which diminish Kinmen’s strategic significance as a launching pad for any invasion of Taiwan, the island retains a symbolic significance.

“As tensions mount between China and Taiwan, the management of the Chinese language Communist Social gathering [CCP[ would possibly find yourself in a state of affairs the place they want a tangible win within the Taiwan Strait however aren’t prepared for an all-out assault on Taiwan. In that state of affairs, seizing the largely demilitarised outlying Taiwanese islands of Kinmen and Matsu may present a symbolic victory for the CCP; akin to what Russia did with Crimea in 2014.”

Kuan-Lin Yu prays that Kinmen is not going to endure the identical destiny as Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow.

“However that isn’t actually in my fingers or the fingers of the Kinmenese. We’re only a small fish in a strait of leviathans.”

Ukraine: Russian warplanes pound Kyiv after weeks of calm | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russian air strikes hammered Ukraine’s capital Kyiv for the primary time in weeks, slamming into an residence block and kindergarten and killing at the least one particular person with others trapped in destroyed buildings.

As much as 4 explosions shook central Kyiv within the early hours of Sunday.

“The Russians hit Kyiv once more. Missiles broken an residence constructing and a kindergarten,” mentioned Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s administration.

Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk mentioned one particular person was killed and 6 wounded. He mentioned explosions heard later in different elements of Kyiv had been air defences destroying additional incoming missiles.

There had been no main strikes on Kyiv since early June.

The town’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, mentioned on the Telegram messaging app that some individuals had been trapped within the rubble of a nine-storey residence block.

“They’ve pulled out a seven-year-old lady,” Klitschko mentioned. “She is alive. Now they’re attempting to rescue her mom.”

A Ukrainian air power spokesperson mentioned the strikes had been carried out with long-range missiles fired from Russian bombers greater than 1,000km (620 miles) away within the southern Russian area of Astrakhan.

Ukrainian experts work outside a damaged residential building hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv on June 26, 2022
Ukrainian consultants work exterior a broken residential constructing hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv [Sergei Supinsky/AFP]

‘Symbolic assault’

Talking to Al Jazeera, Klitschko mentioned the missile fireplace on Kyiv was a “symbolic assault” within the run-up to a NATO summit set to happen on Tuesday.

Klitschko added the air strikes had been harking back to ones that befell in the course of the late April go to of United Nations Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres, who went on to explain the battle as a “mindless warfare”.

Russian missiles additionally struck the central metropolis of Cherkasy, which till now had been largely untouched by bombardment, based on regional authorities, who mentioned one particular person was killed and 5 others wounded.

Russia’s defence ministry mentioned it used high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian military coaching centres within the areas of Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, and Lviv – an obvious reference to assaults reported by Ukraine on Saturday.

Russia denies concentrating on civilians, however Ukraine and the West accuse its forces of warfare crimes in a battle that has killed 1000’s, despatched hundreds of thousands fleeing Ukraine, and destroyed cities.

United States President Joe Biden known as the assaults “barbarism” after he arrived in Germany for a Group of Seven (G7) summit.

Ukraine’s International Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned G7 international locations ought to reply to the most recent missile strikes by imposing extra sanctions on Russia and offering extra heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Severodonetsk falls

The jap battlefield metropolis of Severodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces on Saturday after Ukrainian troops retreated, saying there was not something to defend within the ruined metropolis after months of fierce preventing.

It was a serious defeat for Kyiv because it seeks to maintain management of two jap provinces, Luhansk and Donetsk, that type the Donbas area, which Moscow calls for Kyiv cede to separatists.

The RIA information company quoted a pro-Russian separatist official as saying separatist forces had evacuated greater than 250 individuals, together with youngsters, on Sunday from Severodonetsk’s Azot chemical plant.

The plant’s surrounding industrial space was the final a part of the town held by Ukrainian forces.

Russia’s TASS information company quoted the identical official as saying forces had been now advancing on Lysychansk throughout the river from Severodonetsk. Lysychansk is now the final main metropolis held by Ukraine in Luhansk.

A Ukrainian servicemen attend to a wounded fellow soldier during a medical evacuation
Ukrainian servicemen attend to a wounded fellow soldier throughout a medical evacuation on a street within the jap Ukrainian area of Donbas [File: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP]

‘Have to remain collectively’

Biden condemned Russia’s actions and pressured that allies want to stay agency even because the financial reverberations from the warfare take a toll across the globe by fuelling inflation, meals shortages and extra.

“We’ve got to remain collectively as a result of Putin has been relying on from the start that one way or the other NATO and the G7 would splinter. However we haven’t and we’re not going to,” the US president mentioned throughout a gathering with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the G7′s rotating presidency and is internet hosting the gathering.

The leaders had been set to announce new bans on imports of Russian gold, the most recent in a sequence of sanctions the membership of democracies hopes will additional isolate Russia economically.

Glenn Diesen, a professor at College of South-Jap Norway, advised Al Jazeera whereas sanctions on gold may result in “extra issues” for Russia, they could even have the identical impact on the worldwide economic system as they did on Russian vitality sources.

“When the NATO international locations started to [implement] sanctions, oil and fuel costs rose considerably to the purpose the place Russia may merely export much less however nonetheless made rather more cash than it did up to now,” he mentioned.

“This might additionally occur to gold as nicely.”

G7 leaders meet
G7 leaders collect for a dinner occasion at Citadel Elmau in Kruen, close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany [Markus Schreiber via AP]