Community leaders between Hindus and Muslims in Leicester in the UK today released a joint statement calling for an end to the cycle of violence that escalated over the past week following the first clashes over the match cricket at the Asian Cup between India and Pakistan last month.
“We, the Leicester family, stand before you not only as Hindus and Muslims but also as brothers and sisters,” one of the leaders said as he read the joint statement. He stressed that Leicester “has no room for any divisive foreign extremist ideology”.
“Our two faiths have lived in harmony in this wonderful city for more than half a century. We came to this city together. We face the same challenges together. We are together. against racist haters and together make this city a beacon of diversity and community cohesion,” he read from the statement.
He added that communities that are “grieved and heartbroken” because of “stress and violence” are “not part of a decent society”.
“We come from a family. We settled here in this city together, we fought against the racists together, we built it together. Recent violence is not who we are as a city. “
Joint Statement on Hindu/Muslim Tensions in Leicester pic.twitter.com/PPZLkusMeX
– Darshna Soni (@darshnasoni) September 20, 2022
“What we have seen is not what we are,” the leader said. “We ask all to respect the sanctity of religious sites, both mosques and temples,” he added, urging people not to give in to “musical provocations.” loud, flag-carrying, offensive songs or physical attacks against the fabric of worship”.
Tensions that began after the August 28 cricket match, in which India beat Pakistan, have flared up again after rumors of damage to religious sites spread on social media. Protests and rallies, with angry slogans, were then held on Saturday and Sunday.
So far, 15 people have been arrested in connection with the violence, Leicestershire Police said in a statement.
The High Commissioner of India in London also intervened against the reported vandalism of a temple in Leicester.
The Muslim community has cited a protest by several Hindu groups as “provocative” and “abusive”.