Temple architecture

Islamists target Hindu temple in London over false claims

After the attack on Hindus in Leicester, Islamists called for a mass mobilization outside the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir in London from 12pm on Sunday September 25. The said Hindu temple is located on Ealing Road in Wembley, North West London.

The development comes days after Islamists spread rumors that the Hindu temple was housing and transporting Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) workers, via a travel agency, to Leicester to allegedly foment communal tension.

In a tweet, Australian researcher Sarah L Gates highlighted how an Instagram account had incited violence against the Hindu community. “So what are you going to do? Dress like ISIS and then shout at the Hindus to denounce the RSS – a non-terrorist entity?” she asked.

“Is it time to remove all taxpayer funding to all Islamic organizations that feed this?” she further emphasized. The Instagram story, shared by Sarah L Gates, belonged to an account named “Apna Muslims”.

In one story, the handful demonized the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir as the “Hornets Nest of the Nazi Hindutva” and called for people to gather outside its premises. In this way, the “Muslims of Apna” prepared the perfect ground for the Islamists to justify any attack on the temple.

The Instagram account has over 1,240 followers and is dedicated to promoting Islamist causes in the UK.

Screenshot of the Islamist’s Instagram profile

The origins of the conspiracy theory

On September 18, a Twitter user named aart123 posted a minute-long video, alleging that a bus belonging to Angel Tours was transporting “masked Hindu thugs” to Leicester. He also claimed that the supposed mobilization of Hindus was done at the request of the Hindu temple. The video showed a coach belonging to Angel Tours parked near the temple.

Shortly after, Islamists unearthed a year-old photo that showed a group of people holding a BJP flag, standing in front of an Angel Tours bus. “He is the coach of Leicester Angel Tours owned by Ealing Temple London and the group openly supports the BJP,” one Ash wrote.

The left-wing propaganda newspaper, Threadfurther amplified the disinformation with the help of a UK-based author named Amrit Wilson.

Quoting Wilson, Thread Journalist Sumedha Pal tweeted: “Loads of RSS supporters have traveled to Leicester to cause conflict which can then be used in India to foster Islamophobia and reinforce the narrative of Hindu victimhood.”

However, travel agency owner Angel Tours has denied all allegations and said its buses have not been to Leicester for the past two months. He said his company’s buses always stop in front of the temple because it is a major landmark and people know the place, so passengers on his coaches can easily locate the bus. The owner, Yatin Bhimani, said his bus was only parked there for convenience as there was enough space and his bus company had no connection with the temple.

In an interview with Ali Dawah, ‘Angel Tours’ owner Yatin Bhimani clarified that the Ealing Road temple, where his bus was parked, has been used as a pick-up point by his tour company since 2009. He has also pointed out that he is not affiliated with the temple.

This was also confirmed by Guardian journalist Aina Khan, who published a GPS log from the bus showing he did not travel to Leicester that day.

Regarding the people with the BJP flag seen in front of his bus, Yatin Bhimani said that last year, a group of people rented the bus and the photo was clicked at that time, and that does not mean that he is associated with the BJP. He informed that the group had hired the bus to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021. The owner of the travel agency also informed that people had put his hand on his Facebook profile picture, where he had written how his ‘Angel Tours made it easy for Indians to travel for an event attended by PM Modi. As the photo was taken from his Facebook account, the Islamists knew the photo was old but still used it to peddle propaganda against Hindus.

Therefore, the claim that a Hindu temple in London was sending ‘RSS supporters’ to Leicester has already been proven wrong. The bus has no connection to the temple, and it did not transport RSS supporters or anyone else to Leicester during the violence.

But Islamists, who are always looking for excuses to justify their crimes, are now going after fake news to wreak havoc at the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir in London. As propaganda against the temple that has nothing to do with the violence in Leicester grows on social media, there is a possibility that the temple could be attacked by Islamists in the UK.

Built at a cost of £16 million (approximately ₹109 crore), the Shee Sanatan Hindu Mandir at Wembly in London was opened in June 2010. The temple was built using the ancient methods of temple architecture associated with the Hinduism, without the use of metal.The limestone of the temple was hand carved in the city of Sola, Gujarat.The temple houses 41 marble deities, also made in India.