Leicester: Call for calm after Hindu-Muslim unrest in UK city | Islamophobia News

Neighborhood leaders and native politicians within the British metropolis of Leicester have referred to as for a direct finish to “provocation and violence” after weeks of unrest that was triggered following a cricket match between India and Pakistan late final month.

Leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities gathered on Tuesday morning on the steps of a mosque.

Pradip Gajjar, the president of town’s Iskcon Leicester Hindu temple, learn out a joint assertion saying they have been “saddened and heartbroken to see the eruption of rigidity and violence”.

“Bodily assaults on harmless people and unwarranted injury to property are usually not a part of a good society and certainly not a part of our faiths,” he added, in keeping with a video posted by the native Leicester Mercury newspaper.

Jonathan Ashworth, an opposition Labour MP in Leicester, condemned “stunning scenes of unacceptable incidents of violence”, in an interview with Instances Radio.

The politician tweeted on Monday that each one within the metropolis “are united in calling for calm, peace and concord”.

Dozens of individuals have been arrested within the wake of the violence in essentially the most multicultural English metropolis that has made headlines in India, Pakistan and the UK.

What brought on the outbreak of violence?

So what brought on the outbreak of unprecedented violence in Leicester, the place Hindus and Muslims have lived peacefully for many years?

Violent avenue clashes between some members of the Hindu and Muslim communities broke out after India beat archrival Pakistan in an Asia Cup match in Dubai on August 28.

After the match, a big crowd went out on Melton Street in Leicester, a few of them waving Indian flags, to rejoice India’s win over its arch foe Pakistan. Some within the crowd appeared to chant “Pakistan Murdabad” (loss of life to Pakistan), in keeping with movies shared on social media.

Police in Leicester reported a “collection of incidents” in several elements of town over the next week.

On Saturday night time, a crowd of about 200 Hindu males marched within the metropolis, with some shouting – “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) – a conflict cry for far-right Hindus in India. Quickly Muslims got here out on the streets resulting in scuffles.

The disturbances continued into Sunday with movies posted on native media displaying giant teams of youths sporting masks and balaclavas preventing within the streets.

A Hindu temple was vandalised on the weekend as a bunch of Muslim males protested in response to Saturday’s unplanned march throughout which Muslim residents and store homeowners have been intimidated.

Some members of the Asian group within the UK say the unrest may very well be linked to the rise in Hindu nationalism in India beneath Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP), beneath which minorities, notably Muslims, have confronted rising assaults since 2014, has been actively working among the many diaspora Hindu group.

‘We won’t tolerate violence’

Police in Leicester stated no less than 47 individuals had been arrested. “The affect this dysfunction is having on our native communities just isn’t acceptable,” Leicestershire police stated on Monday.

“We won’t tolerate violence, dysfunction or intimidation in Leicester and we proceed to name for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations proceed with rigour and at scale.”

Police stated these arrested have been males, largely of their teenagers and 20s, and confronted fees corresponding to possession of offensive weapons or firearms, violent dysfunction and making threats to kill.

Police have obtained further powers to cease and search anybody in sure areas and take minors again to their houses. They’ve urged in opposition to “circulating hypothesis on social media”.

The town’s mayor has blamed social media disinformation for the escalation of the violence.

Neighborhood leaders are in shock on the violence in a metropolis recognized for its communal amity. Hindus and Muslims kind a large part of town’s inhabitants.

“What we’ve got seen on the streets could be very alarming,” Suleman Nagdi of the Federation of Muslim Organisations was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Sanjiv Patel from the Hindu group additionally expressed shock.

“We’ve lived in concord within the metropolis for a lot of many years however over the previous few weeks it’s clear there are issues that have to be mentioned across the desk to get out what individuals are sad about,” Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

‘A balanced view’

Dharmesh Lakhani, one other Hindu group chief, stated the desecration of the temple was “unacceptable”.

“I’m actually proud to say on that day, when the flag was eliminated, there was an imam exterior. He stated I’m standing exterior the mandir [temple], ensuring nothing occurs,” Lakhani was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

The India Excessive Fee issued a press release on Monday condemning the “vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu faith”.

“We’ve strongly taken up this matter with the UK authorities and have sought instant motion in opposition to these concerned in these assaults.”

However the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest umbrella physique for Muslim-led organisations, criticised the Indian Excessive Fee for its selective condemnation.

“While it’s proper that we condemn the desecration of Hindu symbols, you will need to characterize all Indians and likewise condemn the deliberate focusing on, intimidation and situations of assault of Muslims and Sikhs,” Zara Mohammed, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote in a letter to the Indian Excessive Fee.

“There’s a clear hesitancy to name out these teams who’ve instigated this thuggery and their political ideology; which they appear to be making an attempt to import from India.

“British Indian communities count on a balanced view from the Indian Excessive Fee, which represents all the diaspora, which may help heal divisions domestically.”

Marcos era survivors call for truth as new Marcos rises | Human Rights News

Manila, Philippines – In a small huddle with martial legislation victims and their surviving households in Manila’s Monument of Heroes memorial park, Joey Faustino wonders what has occurred to the Philippines.

“Ought to I really feel betrayed that the lies have prevailed? Or forgotten and uncared for by our countrymen who believed these lies?” he asks, per week after voters elected Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the nation’s former dictator, as its subsequent president.

Within the park, popularly often called Bantayog, stands the black granite Wall of Remembrance inscribed with the names of 320 Filipinos who fought towards the Marcos dictatorship within the Seventies. They’re however a fraction of those that suffered beneath his brutal rule – Amnesty Worldwide says greater than 3,200 folks had been killed, 35,000 tortured and 70,000 detained throughout that interval.

Gerardo T Faustino, Joey’s older brother, is among the many names on the wall.

In July 1977, the 21-year-old College of the Philippines pupil was kidnapped together with 9 different pupil activists in what is taken into account the only greatest case of abduction throughout the martial legislation period. He has been lacking ever since and, together with hundreds of desaparecidos (disappeared), is presumed to be useless.

Now almost 50 years later, in a once-unthinkable growth, one other Marcos is president.

The Wall of Remembrance in Manila's Monument of Heroes memorial park.
A protracted Wall of Remembrance stands within the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes), the place the names of 320 Filipinos who stood up towards the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos are etched. Days after his son received the presidency, folks started leaving flowers and lighting candles to honour the useless [Jhesset O Enano/Al Jazeera]

The landslide victory of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, higher often called ‘Bongbong’, shocked a nation deeply divided between two clashing forces: one which chooses to recollect and search justice for the victims of its darkish historical past versus one other that favours placing the previous to at least one facet and shifting on.

In between are many who solid doubt over the well-documented atrocities and plunder that passed off beneath the elder Marcos, aided by the disinformation on social media that has helped drive the household’s path again to political prominence and the son’s triumph within the polls.

Human rights teams and martial legislation victims say a ‘Bongbong’ Marcos presidency alerts not solely extra efforts to rewrite historical past, but in addition an extra backslide within the nation’s human rights scenario. His vp, elected individually to the president, is Sara Duterte, presently the mayor of the southern metropolis of Davao and the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial outgoing president.

Each have promised to proceed the work of their fathers.

And not using a concerted effort towards disinformation and historic revisionism, consultants warn the scenario will worsen.

“That victory shouldn’t be an affirmation of human rights, given their historical past,” Carlos Conde, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, instructed Al Jazeera. “[Marcos Jr’s] entire marketing campaign is rooted in disinformation about human rights abuses, not simply of his father’s regime, however of this regime … Some would possibly discover the notion laughable that he’ll, of all presidents, enhance the human rights scenario within the nation.”

Bleak outlook

President Duterte, who will step down on June 30, leaves a bloody legacy from his conflict on medicine that primarily focused the poor and is now the topic of an Worldwide Prison Courtroom (ICC) investigation, to his crackdown on critics and activists.

For his or her half, regardless of lawsuits ordering them to pay compensation to the victims of human rights abuses, the Marcoses have refused to recognise the abuses or apologise for what occurred.

In 1986, after hundreds of Filipinos poured out into the streets in a ‘folks energy’ rebellion, the Marcoses fled into exile in Hawaii, carrying crates of money valued at greater than $700m, on high of gold bars and jewelry. The deposed dictator is believed to have plundered as a lot as $10bn throughout his rule, whereas his spouse Imelda grew to become synonymous with greed and extra.

“What am I to express regret about?” Marcos Jr mentioned in an interview in 2015, when he launched what was in the end an unsuccessful bid for the vice presidency towards Leni Robredo. This 12 months that final result was reversed with Robredo, a human rights lawyer, ending a distant second within the presidential race.

As a senator for six years, Marcos Jr has proven little inclination to uphold human rights, Conde mentioned.

“Sara Duterte, alternatively, had extrajudicial killings [happening in Davao City] throughout her watch as properly, not simply her father’s,” he added. She took over as mayor from her father who had held the publish for greater than 20 years.

“If she can be judged by that, then it’s a reasonably damning type of historical past as properly,” he mentioned.

Specialists additionally warn that the incoming Philippine management is probably going to withstand the ICC investigation into Duterte’s drug conflict killings.

Joey Faustino standing in front of the memorial wall to the victims of Martial Law
‘There isn’t any extra retirement for us,’ Joey Faustino instructed Al Jazeera, calling on martial legislation period veterans to tackle a brand new battle for fact after Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr was elected president. His elder brother was kidnapped by the regime in 1977 and by no means seen once more [Jhesset O Enano/AL Jazeera]
University professor Nestor Castro.
In 1983, then 23-year-old Nestor Castro was illegally detained and tortured for criticising the violent dispersal of Indigenous college students in Baguio Metropolis. Now a professor on the College of the Philippines, he has begun talking about his painful expertise once more [Jhesset O Enano/Al Jazeera]

Human rights teams estimate that not less than 27,000 folks have been killed in vigilante-style drug crackdowns since Duterte took workplace in 2016. Authorities numbers are extra conservative however nonetheless horrifying, placing the demise toll from police operations at roughly 6,000.

In a not too long ago revealed report, the Philippine Fee on Human Rights mentioned the Duterte authorities constantly blocked its efforts to analyze the killings independently.

“It has inspired a tradition of impunity that shields perpetrators from being held to account,” the fee mentioned.

Battle between fact and lies

Survivors of torture and wrongful imprisonment throughout the Marcos dictatorship have lengthy sounded the alarm over the Marcoses’ try to rehabilitate their household identify.

For a lot of his life, Nestor Castro, a cultural anthropologist and professor, selected to not speak about his painful expertise throughout the Marcos period.

“After going by means of that have, why would you relive it? To reminisce about what you went by means of, it is extremely hurtful,” he mentioned.

However in 2016, when President Duterte allowed the burial of the elder Marcos within the Cemetery of Heroes, the place deceased Philippine presidents and nationwide heroes, scientists and artists are interred, Castro knew he needed to converse up about his torture, particularly to his younger college students.

In March 1983, the then 23-year-old was arrested with out a warrant for opposing a violent dispersal of Indigenous college students in Baguio Metropolis. In detention, state brokers repeatedly slammed his head on partitions, burned his chest with cigarettes and threw him in a cramped cell the place he ate, slept and relieved himself.

He determined to inform his story on video and add it to TikTok, a social media platform that has been closely utilized by disinformation networks to unfold false info and present the Marcos period as a “golden age”.

Trolls and Marcos supporters instantly spammed and mass reported his video, and TikTok took it down. Castro appealed to the social media website, however to no avail.

On Fb, the place the video remains to be accessible, the feedback are peppered with hateful remarks.

“You had been in all probability disobedient and that’s why you had been jailed,” one learn.

“You had been in all probability doing one thing mistaken. We didn’t violate any legal guidelines, so we actually agree with martial legislation,” mentioned one other. “You can not change our thoughts; we’re BBM (Bongbong Marcos) and Sara straight from the center.”

A young crowd at a political rally protest at efforts to revise history carrying placards saying 'Hands off our History'
Lately, younger Filipinos have pushed again towards concerted efforts to revise historical past, notably of the abuses throughout the Martial Legislation period [Jhesset O Enano/Al Jazeera]

Again in Bantayog, Could Rodriguez recollects how the injuries of the dictatorship’s survivors have been reopened a number of occasions up to now few years.

“For me, it’s not the bodily reminiscence of remembering the torture. It’s as soon as once more listening to the track ‘Bagong Lipunan’ [New Society]. That’s essentially the most painful,” she mentioned, referring to a propaganda track composed to extol the dictatorship. Marcos Jr revived the anthem throughout his marketing campaign, remixing it to suit the twenty first century.

“That track reaches my insides after I hear it,” added Rodriguez, government director of the park.

As Marcos Jr prepares to take his oath of workplace in a couple of weeks, martial legislation survivors worry darkish occasions lie forward.

For veterans like Faustino, the battle to maintain their tales alive, irrespective of how painful to recall, has grow to be ever extra vital.

“That is one other period the place we might want to, extra than simply survive, however inform and maintain on to the reality,” he mentioned. “There isn’t any different recourse.”