Leicester Violence

Open letter to the BBC

Open letter to the BBC

We, INSIGHT UK, are writing regarding the recent events in Leicester and Birmingham, where the Hindu community has been the target of organised violence.  The Hindu and Indian community feels let down by major broadcasting houses, including the BBC, whose reporting on these incidents has come across as anti-Hindu in its sentiment. We consider that it has only served to further incite hatred and propagate further divisions between communities who have otherwise been living relatively peacefully side-by-side in these cities.

The misinformation that has circulated on social media sites regarding these attacks has portrayed the Hindu community as perpetrators of this violence.  Much of it has been instigated by the actual offenders, Islamists who wish to destabilise the peaceful co-existence of diverse religions, and worse still, increase the incidence of Hinduphobia in our communities.

As a community, Hindus make up much of the British Indian diaspora (1.5 million British Indians in the UK) and have always been one of the most peaceful and law-abiding groups of citizens in the UK.  British Indians make up less than 0.5% of the total prison population (185 out of 78,324 inmates) in the UK, reflecting the highest values we as a community strive to live by. British Hindus and Indians also continue to be one of the most economically successful minority groups, with 654 Indian diaspora-owned companies collectively investing around £2bn in the UK economy through capital expenditure. British Hindus have integrated into UK society, quietly and humbly contributing to Britain in various fields, yet as a community we continue to be targeted and belittled.

We question why it is that with regards to the recent violence in Leicester and Birmingham and historically in relation to other Hindu issues, the BBC’s reports about the Hindu community are negative, biassed and containing mistruths. 

In recent weeks, it seems that evidence-based reporting is something that the BBC has discarded, only to peddle misinformation.

  1. The questionable sources interviewed by the BBC in its reporting include Majid Freeman. Freeman is a known sympathiser of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. He has openly justified and celebrated ISIS fighters on social media. His comments on the kidnapping of a Muslim girl by Indian men and the desecration of the Qur’an have been reported by the BBC without supporting evidence. The Leicestershire Police has stated that neither event took place. 

  2. The BBC has maintained on several occasions that ‘Hindutva’ elements are involved, suggesting that the Hindu community harbours extremist elements in its midst. No evidence of this has been provided, beyond speculation. 

  3. We note that in its early reporting around the issue, there was a lack of Hindu representation in the BBC’s coverage.

  4. We also have noted that the BBC has not mentioned the involvement of Islamists in the violence, for which there is ample evidence.

In this climate, we wish to remind the BBC of the law-abiding nature of the Hindu community and the absence of ‘Hindu terror organisations’ or ‘Hindu terror attacks’ anywhere around the world, let alone on UK soil. We call for the BBC to cease its false reporting. Anti-Hindu sentiments are on the rise; as a public broadcaster, the BBC should have no role in fanning these flames. 

We also wish to remind the BBC that:

  1. It is a corporation funded by the taxpayer and as such obliged to be impartial and unbiased.
  2. Its mission, as stated in the Royal Charter is:  “to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.”.

We accordingly ask the BBC to apologise for the distress caused to the British Hindu community  through its reporting and remove all misinformation and unevidenced claims from its broadcast and print content. At a time at which there is a real threat to the security of Hindus in the UK, with the risk of further creating disharmony in our society, it is imperative that the BBC reports with integrity and responsibility to all citizens.

We are open for dialogue and to having a face-to-face meeting to further discuss this matter. We look forward to your response via info@insightuk.org.

Yours sincerely,

INSIGHT UK

 

Open letter to the Prime Minister of the UK

Open letter to the prime minister of the UK

Failing Liberty: Tolerating intolerance is breaking Britain

14th October 2022

Dear Prime Minister,

Failing Liberty: Tolerating intolerance is breaking Britain. 

We write to draw your attention to the recent disturbances in Leicester, Birmingham and other towns which have greatly distressed the Indian and Hindu communities in the UK. Hatred towards the Hindu community is at an all-time high, to the point where there has been open violence, intimidation, and abuse levelled at Hindus through physical assaults, harassment on social media, and most recently through soft targeting in schools and the workplace. 

The Hindu community has made the United Kingdom it’s home for more than half a century. We are less than two per cent of the population, and yet, our contribution, of which you no doubt are aware, is significantly higher both in terms of socio-economic contribution to the British economy and by way of social integration as well as upholding our progressive British values. The Hindu community is one of the most law-abiding, as evidenced by the imprisonment statistics.

Yet, today, we feel like a community that is under siege. As a last resort, we write to you to draw your attention to our plight, and the long-term consequences of what is unfolding. 

You must be aware of the violence in Leicester and the aggressive protests outside a temple in Birmingham as well as the vicious attempts to harass the Hindu community in Nottingham and outside London’s iconic Sanatan Mandir in Wembley. Although the causes of what happened in Leicester are many and complex, the bottom line is that a marginalised Hindu community has been targeted through violence and intimidation. This Hindu community now lives in a state of fear. While some families have already left the neighbourhood, many more are preparing to relocate. It is worth noting that a small, but highly organised band of radical Islamists took full advantage of the community tensions that existed between this marginalised Hindu community and their Muslim neighbours, which had previously lived in peace. A storm of misinformation was wilfully created on social media with open incitement for violence against Hindus. As a consequence of this vicious campaign, numerous Hindus were physically assaulted, Hindu homes targeted and cars which showed any Hindu symbolism were vandalised. While the media widely reported it as a clash between the two faith communities, it failed to explain why the damage suffered was almost exclusively by the Hindus. It is frightening for the beleaguered Hindu community of Leicester to see that the perpetrators of these crimes are still walking freely. 

Those who dared to speak the truth in the press and on social media were threatened.  Many Hindu speakers from Leicester who spoke to the media now live in fear and have had to seek police protection while carrying panic alarms at all times.  Sections of the Hindu community are, in practice, being deprived of the basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion which are central to our liberal way of life.

It is worth noting that the police, although slow to react, have by and large performed their duty to the best of their ability, but failed to protect Hindus with certain events which took place. The Hindu community dreads the time when extra police patrolling is lifted. 

Our appeal

First, to ensure that the Police are actively investigating the most recent crimes against the Hindu community as set out in this letter;

Second, to declare and ensure financial support is provided for the victims of these riots, including businesses in Leicester that have been vandalised during the riots;

Third, to commission an independent investigation into anti-Hindu hatred and its causes, which will go a long way in raising awareness of this problem amongst the key institutions of our society;

Fourth, to recognise the threat of British homegrown extremism and how certain parts of Britain have become hubs of radicalisation; 

Fifth, help us fund training for teachers so that they are aware of and can identify and deal with anti-Hindu hatred in schools; and

Sixth, to ensure that sufficient security is provided to the Hindu community both in the short-term and the long-term, including sufficient security during the celebration of Diwali around the UK.

The above proposals and/or recommendations will go a long way in repairing the damage that has been done to so many by an extremist few. 

We truly hope that you will take our concerns seriously and act upon our appeal. We are prepared to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you to make our country a leading light in the world. 

Thank You

Signatory Hindu community organisations and temples

  1. Advocacy for British Hindus & Indians (ABHI), UK
  2. Anand Milan Centre, Bradford
  3. ANKUR, Merseyside
  4. Arya Samaj (Vedic Mission) West Midlands
  5. Aryan Cultural Society
  6. Aylesbury Hindu Temple Trust
  7. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Sanstha UK
  8. Basingstoke Hindu Society
  9. Bengali Hindu Adarsh Sangh UK (BHAS UK)
  10. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Manchester
  11. Bihari Community
  12. Bihari Connect UK Ltd
  13. Bolton Hindu Forum
  14. Bolton Indians Sports and Social Club
  15. Bradford Bengali Hindu Cultural Society
  16. Bradford Hindu Council
  17. British Hindu Voice (BHV)
  18. Bromley Temple Trust
  19. Charotar Patidar Samaj, Leicester
  20. Chelmsford Hindu Society
  21. City Hindus Network
  22. Derby Hindus
  23. Derby Kannadigaru
  24. Dr. Ambedkar UK Mission (AUM)
  25. East Midlands Hindu Samajam
  26. Edinburgh Hindu Mandir & Cultural Centre
  27. Friends of India Society International (FISI), UK
  28. Friends of Madhya Pradesh UK Chapter
  29. Gayatri Pariwar UK Croydon
  30. Gita Bhawan Hindu Temple Manchester
  31. Gita Foundation
  32. Global Hindu Federation Ltd
  33. Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora
  34. Greater Manchester Bengali Hindu Cultural Association (GMBHCA)
  35. Greater Manchester Malayalee Hindu Community
  36. Greenwich Hindu Temple
  37. Gujarati Association Wolverhampton
  38. Gujarati Rajput Samaj UK, Birmingham
  39. Gurjar Hindu Union, Crawley
  40. HCRC Durga Bhawan, Smethwick
  41. Hindu Cultural Association (Mata Da Mandir), Dudley
  42. Hindu Cultural Organization’s Radha Krishna Temple, Liverpool
  43. Hindu Cultural Society, Slough Hindu Temple
  44. Hindu Cultural Society Grimsby
  45. Hindu Cultural Society of Cleveland
  46. Hindu Education Forum
  47. Hindu Forum of Europe
  48. Hindu Forum Walsall
  49. Hindu Lawyers Association (UK)
  50. Hindu Mandir Network UK
  51. Hindu Matters in Britain
  52. Hindu Medical Association UK
  53. Hindu Punjabi Sabha
  54. Hindu Samaj Swindon
  55. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK)
  56. Hindu Temple Geeta Bhawan Derby
  57. Hindu Temple Society Coventry
  58. Hindu Think Tank UK (HindusinUK)
  59. Hindu Youth Association
  60. HinduNaree
  61. IDUK Group (Indian Diaspora in the UK)
  62. Indian Association Oldham
  63. Indian Community Centre, Belfast
  64. Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, Northampton
  65. Indian National Students Association UK
  66. Indians in London
  67. INSIGHT UK
  68. Inspiring Indian Women (IIW)
  69. Institute of Jainology
  70. International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS UK)
  71. International Dogra Society
  72. ISKCON Manchester
  73. Jain Yog & Meditation Centre
  74. Jammu Kashmir Study Center UK
  75. Kannada Balaga Swindon
  76. Kannada Hindu Organisation UK (KAHO UK)
  77. Kashmiri Pandit Association of Europe (KPAE)
  78. Kent Telugu Community
  79. Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Belfast
  80. Leeds Durga Puja and Diwali Association
  81. Leeds Pragati Mandal
  82. Leuva Patidar Samaj Leicester
  83. Liverpool Ganesh Temple
  84. Lohana Community East London
  85. London Institute of Vedic Education
  86. Lord Rama Krishna Temple Warrington
  87. Luitporia Nasoni and NEICCUK
  88. Maher Community Association, Leicester
  89. Maheshwari Mahasabha UK (MMUK)
  90. Manchester Marathi Mandal
  91. Mandir Baba Balak Nath, Walsall
  92. Mangalam HCRG
  93. Namaste Group for Elderly, Leeds
  94. National Council of Hindu Temples
  95. National Council of Kerala Hindu Heritage UK
  96. National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK)
  97. NCGO National Council of Gujarati Organisations UK
  98. Newcastle Upon Tyne Hindu Temple
  99. North West Marathi Organisation (NORWEMA)
  100. North West Telugu Sangam (UK)
  101. Odia Cultural Association London (OCAL)
  102. Odisha Society of UK
  103. Odiya Samaj of Midlands
  104. Organisation of Hindu Malayalees (UK)
  105. Overseas Friends of BJP (UK)
  106. Pushti Nidhi UK Ltd (Shreeji Dham Haveli)
  107. Ramdevpir bhajan mandal
  108. REACH India Group
  109. Reading Hindu Centre
  110. Sadgmaya Foundation
  111. Sale Indian Cultural Society
  112. Sampark Bharati
  113. Sanatan Hindu Cultural Society, Sutton
  114. Sangamam UK
  115. Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence
  116. Saraswati cultural organisation, Birmingham
  117. Sharodiya Basingstoke
  118. Shivalaya – The Leicestershire Brahma Samaj Leicester
  119. Shree Bharatiya Mandal, Tameside, Ashton-under-Lyne
  120. Shree Damania Machhi Mahajan Leicester
  121. Shree Gujarati Hindu Centre – Shree Krishna Temple Dudley
  122. Shree Hanuman Temple, Leicester
  123. Shree Jagannatha Society UK
  124. Shree Kalyan Mandal, Rugby
  125. Shree Krishan Mandir Wolverhampton
  126. Shree Krishna Mandir, West Bromwich
  127. Shree Krishna Resource Centre
  128. Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community (Bolton)
  129. Shree Navdurga Association UK
  130. Shree Prajapati Association Birmingham
  131. Shree Prajapati Association Leicester
  132. Shree Ram Mandir (Walsall)
  133. Shree Ram Mandir / Shree Jalaram Bhajan Mandal, ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE
  134. Shree Ram Mandir, Birmingham
  135. Shree Ram Mandir, Southall
  136. Shree Sanatan Seva Samaj
  137. Shree Sarvodaya Samaj UK
  138. Shree Shree Radha Krishna Cultural Centre, Coventry
  139. Shree Sorathia Prajapati Community UK (SSPC)
  140. Shree Swaminarayan Temple Cardiff
  141. Shri Pashupatinath Mandir Of UK
  142. Shri Sorathia Prajapati Community (SSPC) Bolton
  143. Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK – Sanatan Hindu Mandir Wembley
  144. SKS Swaminarayan Temple – East London
  145. Slough Mitra Mandal
  146. South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF)
  147. South Indian Association
  148. Speaking Bharat
  149. Sri Padmavathi Srinivasa Kent Hindu Temple (SPSKHT)
  150. Sri Raja Rajeswary Amman Temple, Stoneleigh
  151. Sutton Mitra Mandal
  152. Swaminarayan Mandir Vasna Sanstha (SMVS ) UK
  153. SwIndians
  154. Swindon Ayyappa Pooja Group
  155. Swindon Hindu Centre
  156. Swindon Hindu Temple
  157. Swindon Puja Committee
  158. Swindon Tamil Association
  159. Telugu Community Association
  160. The British Hindu Press Association
  161. The Hindu Initiative for Global Harmony, Oldbury
  162. The Hindu Temple, Bristol
  163. The India League
  164. The National Council of Hindu Priests UK
  165. UK Telugu Hindu Organisation
  166. United Hindu Cultural Association London
  167. Upton Hindu Community Association
  168. Uttar Pradesh Community Association (UPCA) UK
  169. Vasavi Club International
  170. Vedic Organisation for Indian Culture and Education (VOICE), Manchester
  171. Vedicca London
  172. VHP Ilford Hindu Centre and Mandir
  173. Vichaar Manthan UK
  174. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (UK), Bolton – Veda Mandir
  175. Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK
  176. Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK – Yorkshire
  177. Voice of Dogras
  178. Wellingborough District Hindu Association
  179. West Midlands Hindu Forum
  180. Yog Foundation
  181. Yog-Kulam UK
How Fake News Was Used To Incite Hate and Attacks Hindus in Leicester

How fake news was used to incite hate and attack Hindus in Leicester

Over the past few weeks, Hindus, their homes, cars and Hindu temples in Leicester have been deliberately targeted and attacked. Violent attacks and vandalism of homes by Islamist mobs over 3 consecutive nights on the 4th, 5th and 6th of September, have left the Hindu community in Leicester afraid for their safety. What followed were two weeks of fake cases being filed against largely innocent Hindus by  radical Islamists, rumours spread on social media and violence incited against Hindus in Leicester. At least nine (likely more) Hindu families have felt the need to leave their homes due to the repeated attacks. Saturday 17th September was another dark night where Hindus were attacked, leaving many injured. On Sunday 18th September, Hindu businesses were attacked and around twelve cars were reportedly damaged.

How fake news was used to incite hate and attack Hindus in Leicester
How fake news was used to incite hate and attack Hindus in Leicester

Status as of now (02/10/2022): A few Hindu families are yet to return to their homes. Hindus have removed religious symbols from their homes, cars and properties. People are afraid to wear any religious symbols like Kalava or Tilak. Hindus who attempted to bring the truth out via the media and expose the radical Islamists have received threats. On one Twitter thread, it is reported that school children showing sympathy for the Hindu victims in the Leicester riots are being targeted and harassed. [1]

Fake story 1: Death to Muslims chants

On Sunday 28th August, India cricket fans of multiple religious backgrounds celebrated on the streets of Leicester after India’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup cricket match. After a ruckus when one person who was alleged to be drunk, snatched an India flag out of a fan’s hand, assaulting him and those around him. In response, he was confronted by India cricket fans who were upset at the man’s abusive behaviour and disrespect that was shown to the Indian national flag. He was physically rebuked by a handful of cricket fans. A few of the India 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 India cricket team. No mention of Islam or Muslims were made. No political sloganeering was chanted. The cricket fans consisted of all faith backgrounds. [2] 

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”. [3] This did not happen and there is no evidence for this. Some simple due diligence by checking the videos or consultation with the community for the translation would have provided this clarity. This careless and false statement was used by Islamists to incite violence against Hindus, on the basis of something which did not transpire. 

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, included 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 [4]

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 targeted attacks and violence.

Fake story 2: Hindus on the rampage – Muslim man attacked

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 as 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 had  been uttered, but the false narrative spread like wildfire [5]

Celebrations that took place following the cricket match in August later became disorderly, a police spokesperson said. “An incident was shared on social media stating that a Muslim was being attacked by Hindus. This was wrong – the victim was in fact Sikh and supported the same team as the people who assaulted him,” the spokesperson said.

Mayor blames Leicester unrest on social media disinformation | Leicester | The Guardian

Fake story 3: Attempted abduction of 15-year-old Muslim girl

The Facebook post read: “Today my 15-year-old daughter… was nearly kidnapped.

“3 Indian boys got out and asked her if she was Muslim. She said yes and one guy tried to grab her.” [6]

The post was liked hundreds of times on Twitter after community activist Majid Freeman shared the story on September 13.

He also shared a message from the police which he said was “confirming the incident which took place yesterday [12 September]” [7].

But in reality, there had been no such incident of an attempted kidnapping.

One day later, Leicestershire Police issued a statement which said that “the incident did not take place” [8].

Majid Freeman later deleted his posts but the fake story kept being shared on other platforms.

Fake story 4: Fake Attack on Traffic warden

Traffic warden video: 

  • South Asian Journal posted a video on the 12th of September where an Imam, Khalid Hussain was recorded interviewing his nephew Mohammed Shakeel Abdullah. In the video, the nephew then claims that he was assaulted by Hindus. The Imam asks if he has video evidence of the attack and his nephew who is a traffic warden with Leicester Council confirms that he has submitted his body camera footage with the Police. [9]
  • This video posted on many platforms such as YouTube drew thousands of viewers. The video was circulated on WhatsApp too. [10]
  • This video was also published by Majid Freeman who was found propagating other false news of the abduction case but it has been deleted now. [11]

In the East Leicester Disorder News published on 30th September 2022 at 15:03, Leicestershire Police confirmed that the report was false. The update on this states was: “On 17 September, a 28-year-old man, from Leicester, was voluntarily interviewed about a report he made to police on 10 September. It was claimed he was assaulted while working as a traffic warden. It was ascertained that this report was false. The investigation continues.” [12]

Fake story 5: Coach from London

There were also claims that coach-loads of Hindus were entering Leicester to cause trouble. A video showed a coach outside a Hindu temple in London, with a voice saying the coach had just returned from Leicester.

The owner of the coach company later said he was receiving threats. He also stated that none of his coaches had travelled to Leicester.

The coach operator clearly stated that none of his coaches had travelled to Leicester in the past two months and provided evidence from the GPS tracker of the bus in the video showing it had remained in south-east England on the weekend of 17-18 September.

Fake story 6: Attack on a Mosque

On the 17th of September, Leicestershire Police issued a statement saying that “We’ve seen reports on social media that a mosque is being attacked. Officers on the ground have confirmed this is not true.” [13]

Impact of such fake news:

The impact of targeted and deliberate fake news is clear to see. The Hindu community in Leicester were targeted, attacked and are now living in fear for their safety. Many families have left their homes that are in the so-called “Muslim area”, still waiting to return.

Many houses and properties of Hindus were damaged. Two Hindu men survived an attack with knives, many were injured including women and one man who was hospitalised and in critical condition. 

The Hindus of the area remain in fear after weeks of violence and intimidation. 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. Some families have left their homes out of fear of violence, and are yet to return. 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 s from the street to safeguard from the 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 an India 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 victims 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?

Appendix of Evidence

[1] Hindus targeted including children for speaking up against the attack on Hindus: https://twitter.com/svatsann/status/1574290947130916865

[2] Ruckus with India fans and drunken man: https://twitter.com/i/status/1568608540692041728

[3] Letter by Leicestershire Police: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608548531085313

[4] Clarification by Leicestershire Police: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1571489136653090817

[5] Sunny Hundal’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/sunny_hundal/status/1564662378712780805

[6] The lie of an attempted kidnapping of a 15-tear-old Muslim girl: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1570824684807270402

[7] Majid Freeman falsely confirms the incident of the attempted abduction of a Muslim girl: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1570325813513555970

[8] Leicestershire Police confirm no such incident of an attempted abduction of a Muslim girl occurred: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1570827009961623553

[9] Video of Imam interviewing his nephew (traffic warden) lying about an attack on him: https://twitter.com/sajournal1/status/1569081006136893440

[10] Video of fake attack on traffic warden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rir3gl1MKgE

[11] Majid Freeman published the fake attack on the traffic warden: https://twitter.com/Majstar7/status/1568880743719538689

[12] Leicestershire Police statement confirming the report was falsified: https://www.leics.police.uk/news/leicestershire/news/2022/september/updated-arrests-and-charges–east-leicester-disorder/

[13] Leicestershire Police statement confirming no mosque was attacked: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1571439443508068353

Others

The BBC and The Guardian calling on a proven fake news pedlar and giving him a platform to further spread lies: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1571808655577870337

How social media was used to spread fake news: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTLeicestr/status/1573082266007490561

Press Release – Civil Disorder in Leicester

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2022 

The Hindu community has been a target of organised violence in Leicester over the past 20 days.  It has suffered at the hands of extremist Muslims who have sought to cause deliberate harm, disruption and fear amongst Leicester’s thousands of citizens. On the evening of 17 September, a peaceful protest march by Hindu youths was attacked by radical Islamists with stones and glass bottles. It is obvious from the video footage that this attack was carefully planned to terrorise the Hindu community. Included within the attacks are the Diu-Daman Hindus, a small and marginalised group who are based in the Belgrave and Latimer areas and face various socioeconomic challenges.

Numerous fabricated and distorted videos that falsely accuse Hindus of creating this situation have been shared online and are still available. We support the police’s calls to end misinformation,  such as the fabrication that a mosque was attacked, and urge them to continue to take action against this to prevent further incitement by extreme elements in the Muslim community.

Every citizen in the UK has the right to protest peacefully, just as the role of the police is to maintain peace and prevent harm. Although we recognise police are under-resourced, recent events also call into question the police’s preparedness. We call on the police to ensure that Hindus receive the due protection they deserve.

ENDS

For more details, please contact info@insightuk.org

Leicester attack on Hindus: The real story

Leicester Attack on Hindus

Over the past few weeks, Hindus and Hindu temples in Leicester have been deliberately targeted and attacked. Violent attacks and vandalism of homes by Islamist mobs over 3 consecutive nights of 4th, 5th and 6th September, have left the Hindu community in Leicester afraid for their safety. What followed was two weeks of fake cases being filed against largely innocent Hindus by  Islamists, rumours spread on social media and violence incited against Hindus in Leicester.

Leicester attack on Hindus: The real story
Leicester attack on Hindus: The real story

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 India and has acted as a hub for the British Hindu community to live peacefully for decades.

Demographics of Leicester

Leicester Demography [1]

  • 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 [2]

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

India cricket fans of all religious backgrounds celebrated on the streets of Leicester after India’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 an India flag out of a fan’s hand, assaulting him and those around him. In response, he was confronted by India cricket fans who were upset at the man’s abusive behaviour and disrespect shown to the Indian national flag. He was physically rebuked by a handful of cricket fans. A few of the India 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 India cricket team. No mention of Islam or Muslims was made. No political sloganeering was chanted. The cricket fans consisted of all faith backgrounds. [3] 

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 had  been uttered, but the false narrative spreads like wildfire. [4]

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.” [5] 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  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, included 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-India 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 Hindus 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 India 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 Islamists. 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 (statue of the Hindu God, Ganesh). 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 extremist Muslim youth, 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. [6] [7]

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 [8]. These appeals appeared to fall on deaf ears, as there were hundreds of Islamist 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-India 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 violently torn down  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 [9].

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 banging 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-Indian 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 assaulted. 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 5 pm when a group of youths were approached by two cars. CCTV footage available [11] 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 toward 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 India 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 India. 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. 

Saturday 17th September: Another wave of attacks on Hindus in Leicester

After the continuous harassment, intimidation and attacks by radical Islamists on Hindus and Hindu properties over the previous two weeks, a spontaneous peace march was organised by Hindus to show solidarity and support to the Hindu victims. 

The march started on Belgrave Road, and went to Melton Road, followed by Green Lane Road where many of the marching group lived. [12] Throughout the march, no chants were raised against any community or religion, let alone against Islam or Muslims. Hindu youth continued the march mostly on the footpath, ensuring no impact on the traffic. There was a presence of local police during the march. 

Provocation and attack on the peace march

Noting the peace march, Islamists started gathering after messages on social media were spread calling for Muslims to descend upon Leicester.

On Fridays, Leicester has seen people praying (doing Namaz) on the road. However, it was a Saturday and a few people blocked the road in the path of the peace march and started praying on the road [13]. The peace march stopped and Hindu youth maintained restraint, no chants were made until the Namaz prayers were done and police cleared the road.

The video shows as the peace march continued, one of the Hindu youths was pulled out of the march and beaten up by two people. Police intervened and the Hindu youth was saved from the attackers and he joined back with the march. It is reported that many people in the march faced such intimidation.

Stepping up the attack, the  Islamists started making their way to Leicester from cities such as Birmingham [14]. An innocent Hindu male driving in his car was attacked and beaten up badly, leaving him with seriousl injuries.[16] [17]. His only crime was that he was a Hindu. An extremist mob also hurled abuse at the police officer attending to the victim [15]. It is reported that almost a week after the incident, the injured Hindu man is still hospitalised.

The violent mob started vandalising cars belonging to Hindus, identified by Hindu symbols on the car and suggestive number plates.

Attack on the Shivalaya Temple and the desecration of Hindu flags

Islamists gathered outside the Shivalaya Temple on Belgrave Road amongst heavy police presence. In front of the police, an Islamist  youth climbed on the wall where sacred Hindu saffron flags were flying and proceeded to desecrate the sacred Hindu flags [18]. The police seemed helpless as to what was happening due to the number of aggressive Islamists that had gathered [19], and then the flag was burned by the Islamist.

Later, the police released a statement saying “officers were dealing with public disorder in the area” [20] – but videos clearly show they were standing helpless in front of the temple while the flags were taken down and desecrated. Why were the perpetrators who desecrated the sacred Hindu flags not arrested at that point?

On Melton Road, the Hindu youth who were out on a protest march were  trapped  by a huge Islamist mob from both ends of the street. There were two lines of police safeguarding Hindus stuck in between violent Islamists on both sides of the road. The mob was abusive and continued to attack with stones, glass bottles, knives and wooden sticks.. 16 Police officers and a police dog were injured in the attack by Islamists. [22] 

The standoff on Melton road continued for a couple of hours until the Islamists dispersed. Police let them go back without any challenge. However, the Hindu youths from the protest march were frisked and an identity verification was carried out. It is important to note that not a single Hindu youth was found with any weapon and they were allowed  to return home around 3 am on Sunday after  the frisking finished. Injuries to Hindu youth were not checked for or recorded by the police.

The following day, Islamist Mohammed Hijab further incited further violence against Hindus through his hate speech attacking the Hindu idea of reincarnation. Muslim extremists cheered with chants of “Allah Hu Akbar” [21]. From London to Leicester, Hijab openly spews hate and violence. Why is he still on our streets?On Sunday, during the day many Hindu businesses were attacked, and after sunset, cars were searched for Hindu symbols and vandalised. A violent extremist mob was on the street damaging properties but with increased police presence a few arrests were made. A man who had been sentenced for carrying a knife on Sunday 18th, said that he was influenced by social media [23]. This shows again how social media was used to spread disinformation inciting hatred and violence against Hindus.

The Impact

Many houses and properties of Hindus were damaged. Two Hindu men survived an attack with knives, many were injured including women and one man who was hospitalised and in critical condition. 

The Hindus of the area remain in fear after weeks of violence and intimidation. 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. Some families have left their homes out of fear of violence, and are yet to return. 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 s from the street to safeguard from the 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 an India 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 victims 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?

Appendix of Evidence

[1] Census 2021 and World Population Review

[2] Cabinet Leicester: https://cabinet.leicester.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx

[3] Video: https://twitter.com/i/status/1568608540692041728

[4] Sunny Hundal Tweet: https://twitter.com/sunny_hundal/status/1564662378712780805

[5] Letter by Leicestershire Police: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608548531085313

[6] Attack on Hindus: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608607255826432

[7] Ganesh Murti: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608613719048199

[8] Appeal for peace: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608648741502978

[9] Muslim youth attack Hindus: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608658442911744

[10] Third night of attacks: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608724914212864

[11] Incident with Youngsters on Carol Street https://twitter.com/insightleicestr/status/1570729201753554945?s=46&t=dEv9hcWnnA6Cg_stX5lq9A

[12] Spontaneous peace march: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627771523829762

[13] Blocking and praying on the road: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627835407187974

[14] Islamists start arriving to Leicester from outside cities: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627854734823426

[15] Hindu male beaten. Abuse hurled at officer: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627875249156097

[16] Cars belonging to Hindus attacked and vandalised: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627908765556737

[17] Card attacked: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627946916962304

[18] Hindu temple attacks and sacred Hindu flags desecrated: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627984510754821

[19] Sacred Hindu flag burned: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627997173112838

[20] Police statement: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572628002743222272

[21] Islamist Mohammed Hijab’s hate speech: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572628039569412097

[22] Leicester riots: 16 cops and police dog injured after being ‘outnumbered’ during clashes between hundreds of protesters Leicester riots: 16 cops and police dog inju red after being ‘outnumbered’ during clashes between hundreds of protesters | The Sun

[23] Leicester disorder: Second man sentenced cites social media influence https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-62965416