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Origins of violence in Leicester

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Abdullah al Andalusi

Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi

Episode Notes

TV Debate – Krishna Bhan (Hindu Council UK)

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Community Leaders in Leicester have called for an immediate end to violent clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups in the city. But it seems as though the violence has now spread to Birmingham. Yesterday evening up to 200 masks and hooded man gathered outside a Hindu temple with processes throwing missiles and fireworks at police officers according to West Midlands Police. Well, Claudia Webb yet remember her who's the lesser East MP is today suggested that the violence could even spread further to other towns and cities without central government and police intervention. She blamed misinformation being spread through social media. We're very pleased to say that joining me

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now in the studio is Abdullah Al Andalusi. He's a co founder of the Muslim debate initiative. And joining me from the Midlands is Krishna bar, the education director of the Hindu Council UK, great to have you both on this particular program. Look, I'm going to start with you, Abdullah, if that's all right, and just as why on earth, this stuff is happening, why has a mob turned up outside a Hindu temple? Why are we now seeing racial tensions in the Midlands? Sure, well, basically, it's not really racial tensions, per se. But it seems to be tensions between a community and perhaps a minority of individuals motivated by

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very radical, radical politics from India, the Hindutva movement, all the way up in May everyone thinks about the just a cricket match that settle this off. But no, all the way up in May, Muslims are being attacked on the streets of Leicester, a house was was smashed into

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people were hospitalized by groups of Hindu you've asked them people you Muslim, or what have you. Are they also Muslim, they get attacked. So this started to happen. And because maybe the local community didn't perceive the police was dealing with these individuals going around asking people that most of them are not before attacking them violently. And listen to us mostly, then it seems like much of the community's use went on the streets to protect, protect the streets and the SIDS and all that. That's interesting. There's, there's lots of guys to look into, before we dissect what you've just said there. I would like to go to Krishna barn is the education director of the Hindu

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Council, UK, you've heard what's just been said on that particular side of the argument. Why do you think it's all kicked off in the Midlands?

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Well, first of all, I like to say that on behalf of the Hindu Council, we're extremely saddened by these events. We we have been trying, we work towards bringing different faiths together

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stablish kind of community, community cohesion, try to establish, you know, peace among different communities. And it has been it's really a very sad day for all of us to see this happening. Leicester is the city we use to really you give an example of the good relationships between the communities and Leicester. And this is really very sad what has happened recently. But as it seems that the the results of the cricket match has kind of triggered on the racial tension or whatever, is it a little bit of riots are happening. So well, I feel I feel that it's been it has been a certain individuals who are responsible for this, who are not really engaging with them with the

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actually various communities and they have kind of started this these racial tensions. Alright, I'll come back to you. I've done a one of the big things that you seem to be alluding to there is that there's been anti Muslim sentiment in that area for a long time and people in that community don't feel as though the police have been doing enough to tackle it. How on earth are Sorry, sorry, I'll come back to you.

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Now that I just want to put I don't think there is any anti Muslim element there. I think it's just I see it as I see it. That some of the individuals maybe mostly youngsters have really got this situation out of control.

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youngsters get very they get highly either had a strong they get emotional. Okay. That's one thing I'll come back to that because a lot of people watching this now will be shouting at their TV set saying that we live in a first world country with a rule of law no matter how dissatisfied you are with the police his actions it does not justify a mob. Well first world country I mean

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In my Ukraine's a first world country and they don't seem to be so peaceful on their way back to where Putin invaded my Well, exactly being a first one doesn't guarantee peace and security for anyone. The issue is, and this is deplorable. The issue is that the long standing Muslim and Hindu communities in Leicester have had very cordial and convivial relations for many decades with no problem. I would agree with my colleagues on the panel that this is outside elements, but it's not just some random individuals, they are spouting a, a ideology that's been imported from India, which is an anti Muslim, Hindu supremacist ideology called Hindutva. One of the one the one of the second

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chiefs of this ideological the RSS praised the Nazis for getting rid of Jews and they want to do the same to Muslims. In India itself, so many youngsters are being radicalized by this particular ideology, which has now spread out to the Indian diaspora, which is calling for anti Muslim sentiment but not only anti Muslim sentiment, because even in that back cricket match when there was a rampage afterwards, or by individual supporting India, a Sikh guy who was actually there to support India at the cricket match was attacked me for telling people not to shout out death to Pakistan, because it has nothing to do with a cut. It's meant to be a I'll go back to Chris here in

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a second. But as jokes I don't want to miss or forget a couple of the points that you've made that interesting stuff that you've just raised. But if something similar was to happen, for example, people weren't happy with some preaching that has been done at a particular mosque in their country, or people haven't been happy with the way that things could potentially not been stamped out maybe with certain certain extremist elements in certain parts of the country without justify someone going in standing outside a mosque because presumably you'd be against that, but you seem kind of alright with this. Well, actually, you forget.

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There was an imam standing outside a Hindu temple, telling wayward kids actually to go away and not to molest the community. So that's been missed that that's actually cut that was actually covered on TV, by the way, but it just seems to be forgotten. There's actually in the Muslim community has been trying to calm down the youths who are sick and tired of seeing many of individuals being beaten up by mobs of angry Hindutva motivated youths. And because the police haven't been doing dealing with this since May, it has been out of control, unfortunately. Okay. All right. Well, Krishna, I'll come back to your home now, because we've heard a lot from Abdullah that I mean, you know, what, what's

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your take on all of this, because it does seem as though what what our chapter is trying to say here is that this has been incited by elements of the Hindu community needs to get a grip because the police won't be getting a grip of it. And by the sounds of it, this kind of reaction is only going to continue on until it stops by minority of the minority. I don't want to blame anybody here. I think it's kind of it's,

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as I said, I still see it as certain elements from outside who have kind of sparked the whole thing. I do not want to put blame on any committee, either Hindus or Muslims or six or any community, because I know I know Lester very well. And I know how the community is diverse communities, a Lester lived together in harmony. There was extremely racial harmony in the city. So I still would not like to blame anybody. But I still feel is the outside outside element that kind of triggered this. And we need we need, maybe maybe the police didn't address this problem. immediately, as soon as that didn't stop.

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I must say after I was rather concerned when you didn't appear to condemn the fact that just because the police haven't dealt with this, that things maybe will be taken into what really a mob times I don't really think that's the way any of us want to operate in this country. But But what are the solutions I've done? And because we cannot we should be implied it should you should you should assume that I condemn it. And if I asked you and I didn't say Yes, sir. I said it was deplorable. Did you not hear me say No, I didn't even say, well, it's recorded. Now you can.

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If I missed it, I missed it. But I did ask you about it. But what do you think are the solutions that are going forward? Now? Because we can't keep having this happening? Can we this kind of stuff? Well, of course, as I said, if policing had been on the ball since May, and the individuals who are perpetrating these mob attacks in Leicester, were arrested, identified and arrested. We wouldn't have this unfortunate escalation, Africa where people feel the need to be used mostly for me to be vigilante go out on the streets and in protection squads to protect areas that where there's Muslim majorities from being attacked by mobs of perhaps a Hindutva inspired knee youth. You said a need is

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there a need for it? I'm saying they perceived if they perceived there was a need, unfortunately, I want the police to be to be there managing law

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We're in order, you know, call it a radical opinion, but the police should be the ones maintaining everyone's protection and the guaranteed right for everyone to go out safely be the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh or whoever. Krishna, what do you think the solution is needs to be? Hey, obviously heard from? I've done a What's your view? Because people are concerned. Claudia Webb, for example, the MPs concerned that this could spread not just from Leicester to Smith, eight, but across the Midlands, across the country, we need to get this sorted. So how can it be resolved? I agree with my colleague. First of all, it's the police that need to first of all restore some peace,

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they need to work hard at it. They need to use different strategies, not violence, but they need to use different strategies to restore peace among different communities. And then that is a short term that is the short term solution but a long term solution, we need to really address that we need to get different faith leaders of different communities come in different faith leaders of various communities together, sit together and really find the solution find the strategies to address this the long term issue of this restoring peace. And also for young people. I would as an educationist, I would suggest workshops, I would suggest some kind of engaging them with certain educationist to

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address very,

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very quickly. Sorry, I'm just going to ask you both the same question. Okay. So one after the other. Abdullah, I'll start with you. There are all sorts of concerns amongst some people not all at all that this is maybe a sign that multiculturalism integration is not working particularly well in British society. How would you respond to that dollar first? Well, if you could just go back into history, if they've been saying this for 200 years, we've been having immigration, Irish immigration, Jewish immigration, Italians, Turkish, we've had all kinds of people from around the world come to this country for the last 200 years. And sometimes the unfortunately, there are issues

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and problems that arise but people should have a greater faith in the British tradition as a part of being able to integrate or at least have people live side by side peacefully, which has been shown to be impossible Krishna final word. See, then thanks very much for the web. Abdullah Krishna final words he's saying question, do you think that integration is working at the moment, but I think Britain we have seen over the past many, many years. Britain is a very tolerant country and

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this has worked very well in the past. And I don't think it is anything to do with this kind of problem. It is it is a problem which has been created by outside element which is a temporary problem which needs to be addressed by different strategies all right.

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All right. So it will be I'm being shouted out because you've got a wrap on the program towards you both all day about this but I really really appreciate it thank you so much. That was Abdullah I'd Lucy though is the co founder of the Muslim debate initiative. And from the Midlands as well Krishna bar, the education director of the Hindu Council UK. Well, good stuff good ways to own the show that Barbara Hanks is