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Who is Mohammed Hijab? The Islamic preacher who provoked Muslims during the 2022 anti-Hindu violence in Leicester

In September 2022, Mohammed Hijab was found inciting violence against Hindus in Leicester, UK. In his speeches, he mocked Hinduism and provoked Muslims to attack Hindus, videos of which went viral on social media and believed to have played a role in rising Hinduphobic sentiments at the time, experts who study hate crimes said.

Since Hindus were attacked in Leicester in August 2022, one name has prominently appeared in reports. Mohammed Hijab, a prominent Islamist YouTuber and influencer, is one of the main instigators of violence against Hindus in Leicester. Hijab is a British-Egyptian “public speaker” who gained notoriety for his inflammatory speeches. His controversial views on various issues, including the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, have brought him to the forefront. In the mainstream media, he is a debater who discusses religion, politics and society. However, the videos of provocative speeches given in public tell a different story about him.

When the Hindu community was attacked following the Asia Cup T20 match between India and Pakistan in August 2022, Hijab was identified as a chief instigator. He led patrols and made disparaging remarks against Hindus during the violence. On his website, Hijab describes himself as a political philosopher and philosopher of religion. He co-founded Sapience Institute to spread Islamic education. Furthermore, he is an academic co-ordinator at Islam.Net and a lecturer at Mishkah University.

Hijab’s controversial stance is not limited to the local clashes but extends to international matters. In recent times, he has expressed pro-Palestine and pro-Hamas sentiments. He condoned the 7th October terrorist attack of Hamas against Israel. Interestingly, while saying his views on the Israel-Hamas war, he attempted to play the victim card and accused others of lacking morality and not condemning Israel’s actions.

Mainstream media gave space to Mohammed Hijab

Despite being controversial, he has been provided platforms by major publications, media channels and prominent hosts like Piers Morgan. On 17th October, Hijab was a guest on Piers Morgan Uncensored. On 21st October, he spoke on the topic “Reviving Roots’Roots’ at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and on 23rd October, he was provided a platform to speak at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

During his time with Piers Morgan on his show, Hijab kept questioning the authenticity of the reports about the atrocities of Hamas against the people of Israel on 7th October. When Morgan asked him about his views on the reports of the elderly being kidnapped and toddlers being killed by the Hamas terrorists, the only thing Hijab said was, “Where is the proof?”. Morgan informed him that several mainstream media reports, including from the United Kingdom, verified and published the reports of the atrocities, but the Hijab called them “second source”. He said that as a “scholar”, he needs “academic” proof of the atrocities. Morgan said there were reports citing experts in the media, but he categorically denied accepting.

Hijab also tried to justify the horrific actions of Hamas terrorists on 7th October by claiming that Israeli forces have been killing Palestinians for decades and that what Hamas did was “resistance”. He also objected to the comparison of Hamas to ISIS, again for the same reason that Hamas was only showing a form of “resistance”. He failed to provide a base for his theory that resistance would include the killing of civilians.

Hijab continued to lie about the Hospital bombing

On 17th October, a rocket fell on Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Gaza. Palestinian Authority claimed around 500 people died and accused Israel of the bombing. Israel countered with footage from Al Jazeera showing a missile originating from Gaza to attack Israel, falling short and hitting the hospital. Further reports showed the rocket fell in the parking lot, and there were apprehensions about the death toll claims.

Hijab vouched for enslaving non-Muslim women

Just two days after the terrorist attack on Israel, an old post of Hijab went viral on social media where he suggested that non-Muslim women somehow loved to be taken as ‘sex slaves’ by the Islamic captors. “I believe certain anti-Muslim women would wish they lived in the medieval period. It was a period where if the opposing side won a war, it was conventional that people could be taken as booty. Some historical accounts actually say some women would dress up for the captor,” his post read.

Leicester violence: Mohammed Hijab incited Muslims to attack Hindus

In September 2022, Mohammed Hijab was found inciting violence against Hindus in Leicester, UK. In his speeches, he mocked Hinduism and provoked Muslims to attack Hindus. Videos of his speeches were shared widely on social media. He claimed that Hindus were fearful of Muslims. He further suggested that the fear was due to Muslims holding the “truth”.

Furthermore, he made derogatory remarks against Hindus and warned them not to protest. He threatened that he and his supporters would attend the Hindus’ protest sites. He was also seen leading a group of masked Islamists in Leicester.

In a video, was seen mocking Hinduism and inciting Muslims to attack the Hindus. In a video that has now surfaced on social media, he was seen interacting with mask-clad Muslim men and encouraging them to teach the local Hindu population ‘a lesson’. “When I was on social media, I saw these people (Hindus) getting brave. How come today it is like pin-drop silence?” the British Egyptian ‘scholar’ was heard as saying. He claimed that no Hindus were in sight after realising that Muslim mobs were coming at them in hordes. “Cause they (Hindus) fear us when they are near us”, responded an Islamist from the crowd. Pumped by the support of the like-minded people in the crowd, Hijab said, “Deep down, they know we got the truth. If you want respect, then learn to respect.”

In an Instagram post, Hijab was seen leading a frenzied mob of Islamists, with their faces covered in masks. “Muslim patrol in Leicester,” he wrote in his post.

He led similar fringe mobs following the Israel-Hamas war. In the video, his followers were seen raising pro-Palestine slogans. During the anti-Jew protest, they attacked a Jewish boy walking his dog. When police saved the boy, Hijab warned the police official that bringing a dog to the protest site was “an act of aggression” and if they saw the dog again, they would kill it.

Mohammed Hijab also worked alongside hate preacher and fugitive Zakir Naik, during the fundraising for the construction of a grand mosque and Dawah (proselytism) centre in Oslo, Norway.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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