Diversity Is Our Strength: Muslim and Hindu Mobs Clash in England, Temple Vandalised

Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images

Mobs of Muslims and Hindus have clashed with police and each other in Leicester, England, with at least one Hindu temple vandalised.

The disorder in the multicultural city follows weeks of unrest following a cricket match between India, which is predominantly Hindu, and Pakistan, which is overwhelmingly Muslim, although whether this is the true root cause of the tensions is questionable.

The latest outbreak of violence on Saturday saw cars flipped and what Leicestershire Police vaguely described as “a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building” — with the force studiously avoiding mentioning that the man in question hailed from the Muslim mobs, and that the “religious building” he vandalised was a Hindu temple.

Indeed, the mainstream media also appears to be extremely reluctant to describe clearly the nature of the clashes, with both the BBC and Sky News producing reports on Saturday’s unrest that managed to get all the way to the end without once mentioning that the people involved were Muslims and Hindus.

The BBC described the mobs as being comprised merely of “hundreds of people, mainly men”, with the reader left to divine who was fighting from a single reference to the aforementioned cricket match and the fact that they quoted Muslim and Hindu community leaders as calling for calm.

Sky’s article did not use the terms “Muslim” or “Hindu” even once.

British writer Ben Sixsmith described the BBC coverage as having been “deliberately written so as not to inform [the reader] of things”.

Patrick O’Flynn, a former Member of the European Parliament, said the publicly-funded broadcaster’s coverage “may as well [have been] written in code.”

Nick Timothy, chief of staff to Theresa May during her time as Prime Minister, suggested that “the BBC thinks it is helping by writing up news stories while conspicuously not telling the reader what is actually happening” — but added that, in his view, such reporting actually “makes things far worse.”

One figure who was brave enough to criticise a specific group was the Member of Parliament for Leicester East, Claudia Webbe, who continues to sit in the House of Commons despite having been ejected from the Labour Party, on whose ticket she was elected, following a criminal conviction.

Webbe, like the police and media, kept her description of the people actually involved in the violence vague — but she did call out supposed “far right elements” who she alleged are “intent on using social media and other online communication to incite religious and racial hatred… to cause fear, alarm and distress and in order to provoke a reaction.”

“Leicester is a shining example of how people from different cultures can live together side by side. Our diversity is what makes Leicester special. We are the city where the minorities make up the majority. And we are richer for this vibrant exchange of cultures,” Webbe added, in defiance of the clear evidence that Leicester’s different ethnic and religious communities are not exactly holding hands around the campfire at present.

The media and authorities were taken to task on their politically correct handling of the story at length by the SW1 Forum, which highlighted the bizarreness of their decision to beat around the bush when “anyone capable of going on Twitter and searching ‘Leicester Muslim’ or ‘Leicester Hindu’ will quickly find a wide range of videos which quickly make it apparent that this was a sectarian riot”.

They suggested that Webbe trying to rope the far right into the narrative “suggests one possibility: that this is being deliberately censored so as not to allow right-wingers to present these events as a negative effect of multiculturalism.”

They added that while it was “possible that journalists worry about further inflaming community tensions… that shouldn’t excuse failing to report the basic facts.”

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