Islamist preacher accused of inflaming tensions in Leicester, UK

Islamist preacher accused of inflaming tensions in Leicester, UK

An Islamist preacher has been accused of 'stirring up hatred' in Leicester amid fears that violence seen in clashes between Muslims and Hindus there could spread to London.

Mohammed Hijab, who is a self-described scholar, travelled up to the East Midlands city from London last weekend where he was seen calling some Hindus 'pathetic weak, cowardly people'.

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, which has nearly 600,000 subscribers, Mr Hijab can be seen addressing his words to a crowd of young Muslim men, some of whom are wearing masks. 

It came as the city saw running battles involving groups of young male Muslims and Hindus which ended with 47 arrests and eight people being charged with crimes including possession of an offensive weapon and threats to kill.

Days later there were similar scenes in Smethwick in the West Midlands when a group of more than 100 Muslim men protested outside the Hindu Durga Bhawan temple. 

The group, which set off fireworks and abused worshipper, were stopped from storming the temple by a ring of police. 

And there are fears the violence seen in Leicester and Smethwick could spread to London too.

The violence in Leicester began last week, when clashes erupted between groups of Muslims and Hindus after a cricket match between India and Pakistan.

Following the Indian victory groups of young Hindu men were seen walking through the streets chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' as they passed Muslim businesses.

Sixteen police officers were injured as they tried to break up violence between the groups on Saturday, September 18, with the force blaming people from outside the city for inflaming the situation.

One of those who came from outside the city was Mr Hijab, who is based in London and was seen giving speeches to groups of Muslim men.

In one video posted on social media, Mr Hijab says: 'If they [Hindus] believe in reincarnation, what a humiliation for them to be reincarnated into some pathetic, weak, cowardly people like that. I'd rather be reincarnated as a grasshopper, bruv!'