Do Muslims have a right to defend themselves against a hateful and racist mob?
An RSS-backed Hindutva gang decided to march in the streets of Leicester, UK last month, chanting Islamophobic rhetoric and attacking Muslim stores and neighborhoods. Many UK Muslims decided to counter protest this hateful display. Several Muslim community figures also responded peacefully to the situation unfolding in Leicester. Sadly, Islamophobic elements in the UK media took this as an opportunity to side with the far-right Hindutva provocateurs in order to fuel anti-Muslim propaganda.
One Muslim speaker was especially targeted for character assassination: Mohammed Hijab.
Before we address the smear campaign against brother Hijab and the Muslim community in the UK at large, we should understand who these fascist Hindutva aggressors are.
The Real Extremists: Hindutva Philosophy and Inspirations
To understand the Hindutva mob’s activity in Leicester, let’s look at the core philosophies of their roots with the BJP and RSS.
Founded in 1925 by K.B Hedgewar, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organization.
M.S Golwalkar succeeded Hedgewar as head of the RSS [and is]… widely regarded as the ideological architect of the Sangh.
Golwalkar’s vision [of a Hindu state] drew inspiration from Italian fascism…comparing the supremacy of Hindus in India to the supremacy of the Aryan race in Hitler’s Germany, Golwalkar wrote, “To keep up the purity of its race and culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging of the country of the Semitic races— the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here .. a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”
The RSS has historically been considered a thorn in India’s social well-being. After prohibiting its members from joining Gandhi’s non-violent “Quit India Movement” and then allegedly having played a part in his death, Golwalkar was sent to prison and the RSS was banned.
The RSS also has close ties to other radical Hindutva organizations such as its political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP, which is now the ruling political party is headed by the current prime minister of India, Narendra Modi.
The Print, an Indian news outlet, estimates that 3 out of 4 ministers in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are members of the RSS, including the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
…Since BJP came to power in 2014, prominent historians such as Romila Thapar have argued that the Sangh is “attempting to foreground revisionist histories with a glorified view of a Hindu past” by…setting up “RSS-model schools”, and lobbying streaming platforms to remove “anti-nationalist” content.
The fascist RSS has heavily support Modi. Modi, of course, allowed the Gujarati massacre of Muslims in 2002, where an estimated 2,000 Muslims were sexually assaulted, tortured, burned alive, and slaughtered. As the prime minister of India and the leader of the BJP, Modi has only been too eager to oversee all manner of anti-Muslim policies and governmental actions against the Muslim minority.
The RSS and BJP do not just target Muslims, by the way. They target all religious minorities, whether they be Christians, Dalits (the lowest in the Hindu caste system), Sikhs — really anyone who isn’t RSS or BJP.
Hindutva in the United Kingdom
It is a misconception that Hindutva exists in India alone. Last month, Hindutva mobs were seen in Leicester UK harassing Muslim women, desecrating mosques, and assaulting Muslim youth. Below are some of the videos of Hindutva mobs in London over the past month.
This shocking display of Hindutva hate crimes emerging outside of India is unprecedented. Most of the BJP- and RSS-influenced Hindutva have operated with impunity within India, where atrocities are carried out daily (with little to no coverage by the Western media).
What could explain the presence of these radical fascists in the UK?
Disturbingly, the RSS has infiltrated the UK by propping up the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a sister organization. The HSS runs programs in the UK to teach Hindu youth the extremist Hindutva ideology.
The video below shows an undercover recording of one of these radical youth camps in London.
EXPOSED! Undercover footage of a 2014 youth camp in #London organised by HSS, the overseas wing of the Indian #Hindutva fascist group RSS, responsible for so many atrocities against #Muslims in #India.#Islamophobia pic.twitter.com/TV5lvV8FZ2
— DOAM (@doamuslims) September 25, 2022
The contents are shocking:
- A portrait of Golwalkar, the man who admired Hitler and Nazi ideology, is placed center stage as a role model for the HSS youth camp for students as young as 13 years old.
- A teacher is seen indoctrinating his students that Muslims are a “problem” for everybody and that Islam is “…the world’s worst religion.”
- Students at the camp were interviewed and gave statements about culling and killing Muslims en masse.
Given that such anti-Muslim hate is being taught by HSS, it is easy to see how hate-filled Hindutva mobs have emerged in Leicester.
The Telegraph’s Attack On Mohammed Hijab
Mohammed Hijab along with other Muslim community figures counter demonstrated against Hindutva radicals last month. The Telegraph along with other Western outlets conveniently overlooked the nature of Hindutva political ideology and this anti-Muslim provocation by what is essentially a far-right ethno-nationalist movement.
An Islamist preacher [ Mohammed Hijab] was involved in anti-Jewish demonstrations in London has been accused of “stirring up hatred” in Leicester, where attacks on Hindu temples and shops led to dozens of arrests.
This particular article by The Telegraph was arguably the most egregious example of media bias, libel, and character assassination.
Mohammed Hijab was one of the leading figures during demonstrations in the capital that were condemned as anti-Semitic by Jewish groups. It can now be revealed that Mr. Hijab was last week also in Leicester, where anti-Hindu demonstrations turned violent…
The Violence in Leicester was followed by tense scenes in Smethwick on the evening of Tuesday, September 20, when around 200 young Muslim men tried to storm the Hindu Durga Bhawan temple and cultural centre and temple…
The article attempts to mislead the audience by making it appear that Hijab was the powder keg that led to violence, when, in fact, there is no credible evidence that indicates Hijab was involved with any violence whatsoever, directly or indirectly. Unsurprisingly, they parrot the banal accusations of Zionists, namely that anyone who criticizes Israeli policy is de facto an anti-Semite.
Considering The Telegraph‘s unabashed promotion of pro-Zionist narratives, their animosity for any Muslim who speaks against the genocidal state of Israel is par for the course. It seems like The Telegraph has added pro-Hindutva to their list of ethno-nationalist affinities.
What is completely inexcusable, however, is that The Telegraph stoops so low as to attack Hijab’s family and personal life.
Mohammed Hijab has given MuslimSkeptic a statement regarding this smear campaign:
The Telegraph has intentionally maligned me by claiming that I was involved in anti-Jewish protests and by changing the recipients of my message from Hindutvas to Hindus in general. I have never engaged in “Anti-Jewish” protests or sent a political message to “Hindus” at any point in my life.
The fact that some in the press equate anti-Zionism with “anti-Jewishness” and “anti-Hindutva” with anti-Hinduism indicates their lack of integrity and defeat on the key issues. That is as they have to resort to lies and name calling. It is also important for Muslim activists to be aware of these tactics especially if their livelihoods could be impacted by them in education and employment.
Finally, this whole episode has shown me the importance of written Islamic representation the like of which MuslimSkeptic and other Islamic organizations attempt to produce. We should be behind these organizations.
The Bigger Picture
Islamophobia is at an all-time high, where pro-Israeli, Hindutva, and neoconservative fascist groups are willing to set their differences aside to team up and focalize their attacks on Islam and Muslims.
Western pundits, writers, and think tanks are now, apparently, shilling for far-right Hindutva groups – much like they have shilled for Zionists – in order to fearmonger against Muslims and spread Islamophobic hate in wider society.
One such shill is Charlotte Littlewood who works for the Henry Jackson Society, a neocon think tank that heavily promotes anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Littlewood, in an attempt to incite the Leicester public, posted a claim that Hindu families were forced to leave Leicester after “threats of violence from Muslims.”
Police in Leicester, however, have denied this claim and revealed they had not heard anything about Hindu families leaving due to intimidation by Muslims. Littlewood’s claim, thus, is completely unsubstantiated.
Her baseless tweets were retweeted by Insight UK, a “social movement of British Hindus and Indians.” This UK-based think tank routinely posts and retweets Islamophobic content such as slandering Majid Freeman after he exposed the RSS propaganda surrounding Leicester.
To learn more about such blatant lies from these Islamophobic media figures and Hindutva propaganda orgs, read the full report from Coolness of Hind.
Here is how @guardian is demonising Hindus, using the words of Majid Freeman, a terror sympathising Islamist thug who had travelled to Syria extensively. Their reporter on ground was actually accompanied by Freeman. pic.twitter.com/fFmGLasdyZ
— Nupur J Sharma (@UnSubtleDesi) September 20, 2022
Speaking of Shills…
Also involved in the media blitz against Muslims: Douglas Murray, another former member of the Henry Jackson Society who routinely engages in Islamophobic rhetoric.
Murray is a vocal supporter of the Islamaphobic far-right English Defense League founded by the racist conman Tommy Robison, who has been convicted of multiple accounts of fraud, assault, and intimidation.
Like Littlewood, Murray gives his own revisionist narrative of the events in Leicester by writing a column addressing the Member of Parliament in charge of Leicester East, Claudia Webbe. Murray calls Webbe a “leftie MP” who is letting “Muslim extremists” run rampant. Murray who made his career as a neocon calling for nonstop wars against Muslims, can’t bring himself to admit that, maybe, Muslims are not the aggressors in Leicester.
— Douglas Murray (@DouglasKMurray) September 23, 2022
The events at Leicester make it clear that Hindutva is just one element of the global Islamophobic movement. Despite their differences, Neocons, Zionists, and Hindutva have now formed a coalition of anti-Muslim hate. A coalition of ethno-nationalism. They are actively collaborating and conjoining resources to target Muslims.
These resources include media corporations being utilized to spread Islamophobic propaganda and youth training camps to generate RSS-trained extremists who then terrorize UK streets.
Rather than cower to this coalition, Muslims should double down on our right to defend ourselves wherever we are attacked, without ever capitulating to the Islamophobic smears of biased Western media.