Muslim and Hindu leaders call for Leicester community calm

Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Leaders of Leicester's Muslim and Hindu communities have echoed calls for calm following recent tension and disorder in the city.

They gathered on the steps of a city mosque on Tuesday 20 September to condemn the violence.

In total, 47 people have been arrested for offences in relation to the unrest in the east of the city.

The statement which was read out by Pradyumna Pradipgajjar, from the city's Iskcon Hindu temple, stated: "We, the family of Leicester, stand in front of you not only as Hindus and Muslims but as brothers and sisters. Our two faiths have lived harmoniously in this wonderful city for over half a century.

"We arrived in this city together. We faced the same challenges together; we fought off racist haters together and collectively made this city a beacon of diversity and community cohesion.

"That is why we are saddened and heartbroken to see the eruption of tension and violence. Physical attacks on innocent individuals and unwarranted damage to property are not part of a decent society and, indeed, not part of our faiths. What we have seen is not what we're about.

"We together call upon the immediate cessation of provocation and violence - both in thought and behaviour. We together call upon the inciters of hatred to leave our city alone.

"We are a strong family, we will work together to resolve whatever concern may arise - we do not need to call up any assistance from outside our city. Leicester has no place for any foreign extremist ideology that causes division.

"Our message to anyone that sows disharmony between us is clear 'we will not let you succeed'. We ask all to respect the sanctity of religious places, both mosques and mandirs alike - whether provocation with loud music, flag bearing, derogatory chants or physical attacks against the fabric of worship. This is not acceptable nor upheld by our faiths.

"As with all families, we will be having honest and uncomfortable conversations in addressing the issues, but we are confident that with our faith in God and, indeed, faith in each other, we will come out of this even stronger. We're One Family."