London Mayor Sadiq Khan strongly condemns the ongoing unrest between Muslims and Hindus
Image by Sadiq Khan Twitter account
As communal clashes escalate in Leicester with several reports of unrest and arrests in the last few weeks, London mayor Sadiq Khan has condemned the events and taken a firm stand against division.
In a descriptive thread on Twitter posted on Wednesday, 21 September, the Mayor asserted that British Hindus and British Muslims need to be allies not enemies.
He wrote: “My grandparents were from India. My parents from Pakistan. I was born and raised in London and am proud to call Britain my home.
“But like many Londoners who can trace their family history to different parts of the world, I feel a strong connection with my heritage, which means both India and Pakistan are dear to me and hold a special place in my heart.
“That’s why I’ve found the ugly scenes in Leicester and Smethwick over the last week so heart-breaking. British Muslims and British Hindus have far more in common than that which divides us.
“We should be eternally on our guard against extremist forces who seek to stoke up tensions between our communities for their own selfish ends.
“For a generation, Asian families have lived side by side in the UK as friends and neighbours – not allowing the politics of the sub-continent to spill over here at home or to affect our relationships.
“I remember the solidarity I had growing up in London with my Asian Hindu and Sikh neighbours, who along with Muslim, White and Black Londoners all stood together against the far-right of the 80s and early 90s.”
He continued: “The Asian immigrant story in London – and the sense of common struggle – is shared by people who have links to all parts of the sub-continent.
“We cannot let current or past tensions, and the wider politics of the region, be used as a pretext to break that unity or stir up trouble on our streets.
“What we have seen in the Midlands in recent days is completely unacceptable, and I wholeheartedly condemn all violence, harassment and intimidation.
“Everyone in the UK and around the world should have the right to live in peace and to practice their religion without fear or threats.
“British Muslims and British Hindus should always be allies, not adversaries. And any attempts to drive a wedge between our communities by a small minority should be called out and resisted by all. Now is the time for us to rekindle and strengthen our bonds of solidarity.
“We need the silent majority to continue raising its voice and deploring this disorder.
Together, let’s take a stand against all forms of hatred, intolerance and extremism – wherever it is found.” After the escalation of clashes between both the communities, many prominent leaders and organisations of Hindu and Muslim backgrounds have urged to end such acts of violence and maintain a sense of unity and peace.