Over the weekend, 47 people were arrested in Leicester following tense standoffs on the city’s streets. According to Leicestershire Police, some of those detained following trouble in the city’s east were from Birmingham, and 25 of its officers and a police dog were injured.
Residents in Leicester, known for its diversity, have been shocked by images of masked or hooded men, mostly from the Hindu and Muslim communities, engaged in tense confrontations and stand-offs on the city’s streets.
On GB News, Nigel Farage was joined by Dr Rakib Ehsan, a writer who specialises in race relations, to investigate the events.
Nigel asked: “Would it be right to describe these scenes, night after night in Leicester, as race riots?”
To this, Dr Ehsan replied: “Well one thing I will say, Nigel, is that this is sectarian violence. The reality is that foreign-inspired sectarianism and ultra-religious identity politics is now on Britain’s streets, in a regional city.
“What’s even worse is that we have out-of-town troublemakers travelling from cities such as London and Birmingham, adding further heat to those community tensions in Leicester.”
On the issue of immigration, he added: “The reality of the matter is we do have newly-arrived migrants with radical, ideological beliefs.”
Following the weekend, there have been numerous calls for restraint, most recently from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which stated that “hatred of any kind has no place in our society.”
Leicester’s problems have also reached a global scale.
Both the Indian High Commission and the Pakistan High Commission issued statements condemning violence against the Hindu and Muslim communities on Tuesday.
On Monday, the MCB also condemned “far-right Hindutva groups’ targeting of Muslim communities in Leicester,” “mob-attacks on Muslims,” and vandalism of homes and businesses “in recent months.”
Labour MP for Leicester South Jonathan Ashworth called the recent squabbles a “dark episode” in a city where he and residents “rightly pride ourselves on celebrating our diversity.”