Recently there have been tensions amongst some members of the Muslim and Hindu communities in Leicester which has resulted in violence, anti-social behaviour and aggression. Last week I visited Leicester with the objective of advising the Muslim community and to help de-escalate tensions.
I am aware, that based on the history of similar community tensions, there are going to be internal and external parties that will use the current issue to promote a malicious narrative about minorities and community relations in the UK, with a negative focus on the Muslim community. This adds to the importance of why we must de-escalate any tensions.
Given my influence in the community, I had two key objectives visiting Leicester. The first was to ensure that no one from the Muslim community breaks the law or manifests signs of extremist behaviour. The second was to remind the community that the law allows the use of reasonable force to defend oneself and vulnerable people. Innocent women were being attacked. My actions and words were recorded and they were said and done in front of the Police.
My public work is very clear. I do not condone or advocate for any violence and disharmony between any members or groups of the British public. I will continue to work to ensure the harmony and wellbeing for all, including the Hindu and Muslim communities.
Finally, it must be highlighted that there is growing evidence that sections of the British public have been radicalised by the extremist movement known as Hindutva. Hindutva is a form of fascist, right-wing extremism that advocates for the hegemony of Hindus and Hinduism. This leads to the othering and dehumanising of non-Hindus, which inevitably results in violence. This is exactly what has been happening in India today and this extremist ideology has arrived in our country.
Unfortunately, some sections of the Hindu community in the UK, in particular Leicester, have adopted this extremist ideology and it has been responsible for community conflict and aggression against non-Hindus, in particular vulnerable Muslim women. The authorities must take this seriously and act in a timely manner.