A recently released report into the cause of the recent clashes in Leicester following a cricket match between India and Pakistan refuted the allegations of any Hindutva or RSS extremism.
The report, published by Henry Jackson Society’s (HJS) Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism, said that influencers, some of whom involved in terrorism charges and radical activities, inflamed tensions and stoked violence through fake news.
Incidents of violence were reported in UK’s Leicester after a cricket match between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup on August 28. As many as 47 people were arrested for their involvement in the violence.
“Evidence of a Hindu nationalist presence in the UK is tenuous. Some organisations have been accused of links to RSS and RSS linked individuals have visited the UK, this is problematic for community relations and requires further investigation,” the HJS report, written by Charlotte Littlewood, said.
“Accusations of RSS terrorists lead to a number of Hindu youth temporarily relocate for their safety. There has never been a Hindu extremist terrorist attack in the UK and the youth in question had no affiliation to RSS,” the report added.
Read our latest research brief: Hindu-Muslim civil unrest in Leicester: “Hindutva” and the creation of a false narrativehttps://t.co/JYAyoeuHih
— Henry Jackson Society (@HJS_Org) November 4, 2022
The report said there were unverified reports of Hindu youth assaulting Muslims and vice versa and added that there was no evidence of involvement of any Hindu extremist or terrorist groups. It also noticed a prejudice against demonstrations of Hindu festival celebrations which was circulated online.
Mohammad Hijab, with over 6 lakh subscribers on YouTube, posted a photo and video of himself leading a group through Leicester, captioned ‘Muslim patrol in Leicester’, on Instagram. The report said that he was seen “encouraging Muslims to defend themselves physically against Hindu “fascism”.”
However, he faced a strong opposition from local Muslim community and a crowd can be heard telling him to put the mike down and calling him an inciter and telling him to leave.
One Anjem Choudhary, a radical preacher jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, had called on the Hindu community to convert in his blog. The report lists several other influencers who were seen inciting violence and blaming Hindutva and its ‘facism’ for the Leicester violence.
The report said that there was a misinformation campaign against a section of the Hindu community. The false claims, alleging Hindu temples of having connections to RSS, led to tensions leading to violence in Leicester and Birmingham.
The allegations of ‘Hindutva extremism’ and ‘RSS terrorism’ in the UK has resulted in incitements to violence and anti-Hindu hate online, vandalism of Hindu temples and reports of assaults on the Hindu community and those who have professed support for the Hindu community, it added.
The report, in its conclusion, called for attention to the potential radicalisation of members of the Hindu community and the Muslim community, who are feeling aggrieved and may be vulnerable to false narratives.
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