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.”

Canada: Calls to tackle Islamophobia, 1 year after London attack | Islamophobia News

Muslim communities ‘nonetheless reeling’ from lethal assault on a Muslim household in London, Ontario final yr, advocate says.

Montreal, Canada – Muslim group leaders in Canada are renewing their calls to deal with Islamophobia as they commemorate the one-year anniversary of a lethal assault on a Muslim household that authorities say was motivated by hate.

Over 150 delegates are assembly with parliament members within the capital, Ottawa, on Monday to demand concrete motion to deal with Islamophobia and hate crimes, mentioned Fatema Abdalla, spokesperson for the Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) advocacy group.

A stroll in opposition to Islamophobia may also be held on Monday night, NCCM mentioned in a press release.

“Muslim communities are nonetheless reeling from this incident,” Abdalla instructed Al Jazeera in a cellphone interview in regards to the lethal assault in London, Ontario, on June 6 final yr.

“This brutal assault has ceaselessly altered the connection that Muslim group have with Canada. Muslims are afraid to stroll throughout the road; they’re afraid of congregating at masjids [mosques] with out having to look over their shoulder.”

Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old spouse Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, have been killed when a driver ran them over with a pick-up truck whereas they have been out for a stroll. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was significantly injured.

The police chief mentioned on the time that the victims have been “focused due to their Islamic religion”.

The assault renewed sorrow and trauma for Muslim group members throughout Canada, a lot of whom have been nonetheless reeling within the aftermath of a lethal 2017 assault on a Quebec mosque that left six worshippers useless, and a deadly stabbing at one other mosque in Toronto in 2020.

For years, Muslim group leaders have known as on authorities to deal with racism, hate-motivated violence, and the prevalence of far-right teams in Canada.

Researchers in 2020 discovered that the variety of hate teams working within the nation had tripled in recent times, with anti-Muslim rhetoric one of many “most salient” subjects amongst right-wing extremists on-line.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to deal with the issue, holding a nationwide summit on Islamophobia in July of final yr.

On Sunday, Trudeau and different authorities officers attended a march in London to recollect the Afzaal household and stand united in opposition to hate.

“This afternoon in London, hundreds of individuals confirmed as much as honour the Afzaal household; to be there for Fayez, who survived; and to march in opposition to Islamophobia. In reminiscence of #OurLondonFamily, we should hold working collectively and utilizing each instrument now we have to fight this hatred,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Justin Trudeau participates in a march against Islamophobia in London, Ontario
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marches in London, Ontario, June 5, 2022 [Chris Helgren/Reuters]

Final yr, NCCM put ahead an inventory of 61 suggestions to deal with Islamophobia in any respect ranges of presidency, together with by the event of a federal anti-Islamophobia technique and the availability of funds to assist help victims of hate-motivated crimes.

The group additionally urged Canadian provinces to make sure their anti-racism directorates are nicely resourced and known as on municipalities to fund community-based efforts to deal with the issue.

Abdalla at NCCM mentioned that whereas some constructive steps have been taken during the last yr – together with the reintroduction of laws that will permit for civilian oversight of the Canada Border Providers Company (CBSA) – extra motion is required.

“We do imagine that it begins from the highest. We have to see change and we have to see it now, and one of many key methods we will do that’s by informing our Canadian society in regards to the precise hurt Islamophobia has,” she instructed Al Jazeera.

In the meantime, the London assault suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, faces 4 counts of first-degree homicide, one depend of tried homicide and terrorism expenses. His trial is ready to start in September 2023, Canadian media retailers have reported.