UK Islamic council calls for action against Islamophobic attacks
The Muslim Council of Britain has denounced extremist Hindutva groups for targeting the Muslim communities in Leicester following a series of provocations.
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Hindutva refers to the Hindu nationalist ideology promoted by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been accused of stoking violence and hate crimes against Muslims and other minorities.
'We condemn attacks against any place of worship or symbols of religion - hatred of any kind has no place in our society' - Zara Mohammed, MCB
The statement comes after police were deployed onto the streets of the English city following weekend confrontations between crowds of young men primarily from Hindu and Muslim communities.
Witnesses, supported by videos circulating on social media, have said they saw hundreds of men wearing masks and balaclavas chanting “Jai Shri Ram”, which translates from Hindi to “hail Lord Ram” or “victory to Lord Ram”, words that have increasingly been appropriated by perpetrators of anti-Muslim violence in India.
"This follows a series of provocations, including: chanting outside mosques, targeted mob attacks on Muslims, and vandalism to homes and businesses over recent months," the MCB said.
"Groups of young people from both communities have subsequently come out on the streets to protest, resulting in physical altercations and running battles."
Various Sikh groups and community figures in the UK have also raised concerns about growing Hindutva violence in the country.
On Monday, Leicester police said that so far a total of 47 arrests had been made in relation to the unrest.
"Some of those arrested were from outside of the city, including some people from Birmingham," it said.
The weekend's unrest was the latest in a series of street disturbances in the area.