After Opposition, 'Hate Crime Expert' Known For Islamist Bias, Steps Down From Inquiry Panel On Leicester Violence

After Opposition, 'Hate Crime Expert' Known For Islamist Bias, Steps Down From Inquiry Panel On Leicester Violence

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 2, 2022 02:46 PM +05:30 IST
After Opposition, 'Hate Crime Expert' Known For Islamist Bias, Steps Down From Inquiry Panel On Leicester ViolenceDr Chris Allen, an associate professor at the University of Leicester
  • 15 Hindu and Jain organisations in Leichester had vowed to boycott the review because of Chris Allen.

After opposition from Hindu and Jain groups in Leicester, Dr Chris Allen, a professor known for his Islamist sympathies has stepped down as lead of the 'independent inquiry'.

The government-appointed committee, was tasked to study the cause of recent Hindu-Muslim violence in the United Kingdom city of Leichester.

Chris Allen, described as a “hate crime expert” by the BBC in a report published yesterday, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, stepped down from the position amidst opposition.

The BBC report, headlined ‘Expert Dr Chris Allen steps down from review’, quoted Allen as saying:

“In the current climate, I do not believe that it is possible for me to do so in an impartial way and so it is in the interests of the city and the need to find ways to resolution that I have decided to stand down. It is important to stress that my decision was not made in response to the unprecedented levels of hate that has been directed towards me in recent weeks or the spurious allegations circulating on social media."

The BBC report said that a group representing Hindu and Jain temples had said that they felt previous comments on the disorder by Allen undermined his impartiality.

Was Given The Task In October

Allen was appointed as leader of the ‘independent inquiry’ by City Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulby, in the last week of October.

A note published on the website of University of Leicester on 26 October said that Allen “will be supported by experts in social research from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University” and that the review was expected to publish their findings “early in 2023”.

Allen shared the development in a tweet, where he posted, “I have today been appointed lead for the independent review into the recent disturbances in East Leicester. A great honour for me both personally & professionally…”

However, at the time of publishing this report, his Twitter account, @DrChrisAllen, showed the account had been deactivated. No tweets were visible on the timeline.

Two weeks before his appointment of Allen, Mayor Soulby had come under criticism after a Muslim “activist” named Majid Freeman posted this on his Twitter account:

“We had a productive meeting last night with Peter Soulsby (@CityMayorLeic) where he made some commitments re the rise in #Islamophobia, acknowledged the #Hindutva ideology is causing chaos & lack of funding for youth clubs. Thanks Active Muslims Leicester (AML) for facilitating.”

At the peak of the disorder in Leicester, Majid Freeman was found spreading misinformation of a communal nature against Hindus.

He endorsed an unverified claim that a teenage Muslim girl was nearly kidnapped after three men asked approached her and asked her religion.

After a 14 September tweet by Leicester police that no such incident had taken place, Majid quote-tweeted the post saying, “Just got back from the location where the alleged kidnapping occurred. We went to the houses on day 1 too but no one answered. Just went again now with @RiazKhanLC and the cameras confirm no incident took place…”

Opposition By Hindu And Jain Groups

The BBC report quoted Sanjiv Patel, spokesperson for the Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, saying that “Allen’s description of a march by Hindu men through a Muslim area in Leicester lacked balance and, allied with his background studying Islamophobia, made him unsuitable”.

In a report published on 28 October, a news portal,, said that 15 Hindu organisations in the city had vowed to boycott the review because of Allen.

Deepak Bajaj, leader of the Conservative Group at Leicester City Council, also extended support to the Hindu and Jain community leaders in their opposition of Allen.

In a statement released on 28 October, Bajaj said, “We are deeply concerned that the City Council’s review into the trouble in Leicester East is no longer fit for purpose. The City Mayor has appointed a single individual to run the review who has previously published open opinions siding with one community over another. This review should be paused until a tested review panel is appointed.”

About Chris Allen

Before deactivating his Twitter account, Allen said in his bio that he was “working on Islamophobia, hate and extremism.”

In September, he wrote a piece in a website giving a clean chit to Muslim community without any evidence to back his claims.

Reacting to Allen’s piece, a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, Nick Timothy, wrote on his Twitter account that, “It's a grave error to appoint Dr Chris Allen to review communal violence in Leicester. His writing shows his conclusions are already pre-judged. In short he blames British Hindus and suggests reports of Muslim involvement are 'Islamophobic'."

Violence In Leicester

The eastern English city of Leicester witnessed episodes of clashes between the Pakistani Muslim and Indian Hindu groups in September.

Tensions began after an India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match on 28 August, in which the Indian team won.

On the first day of the clashes, the Leicester Police arrested a man for assaulting a police officer and a civilian. In mid-September, the Leicester police said that a total of 47 arrests had been made.

Around the same time, the Indian High Commission and the Pakistani High Commission in London issued statements on the episodes of violence.

The Indian side called the episodes as “violence perpetrated against the Indian community in Leicester and vandalization of premises and symbols of Hindu religion”. 

On the other hand, the Pakistani side  in the UK called the episodes “systematic campaign of violence and intimidation that has been unleashed against Muslims of the area”.   

Amid the political blame game, a video emerged of vandalisation of a Hindu temple. The footage shows a saffron flag outside the temple pulled down by unidentified people.

Another video emerged of a Pakistani man named Mohammed Hijab, described by some as “activist”, as mocking religious beliefs of Hindus. 

“If they (Hindus) believe in reincarnation, what a humiliation of them to be reincarnated into some pathetic, weak, cowardly people like that,” Hijab was seen saying to a gathering.

Clashes between Pakistanis and Indians had erupted in Leicester in 2017 as well, when Pakistani cricket team won against the Indian team in the Champions Trophy.

The population of Leicester is around 330,000, of which, Hindus are about 15 per cent while Muslims are slightly higher in numbers, around 18 per cent, as per 2011 census. 

The report shows that the proportion of Muslims in Leicester has jumped significantly between 2001 and 2011 from 11 per cent to 18 per cent.

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