Lessons from Leicester: Addressing Social Cohesion and Extremism Concerns

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Lessons from Leicester: Addressing Social Cohesion and Extremism Concerns

26th June 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

As the independent Government review into the clashes in Leicester between Muslim and Hindu communities has now been announced, The Henry Jackson Society is taking this opportunity to consolidate the findings of – at present – the only two research reports into the unrest.

Prasiddha Sudhakar’s research into Anti-Hindu disinformation, the first of its kind to probe the prevalence of this sentiment on social media platforms, has been widely featured by media outlets such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, BBC, and KQED. In turn, Charlotte Littlewood’s report into the Hindu-Muslim unrest in Leicester last year sparked discussion in the UK and India around the causes and spread of anti-Hindu hatred.

The authors will be joined by renowned investigative journalist John Ware, who will probe their methods and findings, taking stock of what we already know and addressing widespread concerns about social cohesion and extremism moving forwards.

 

 

Prasiddha Sudhakar is a data and intelligence analyst at the Network Contagion Research Institute, where she uses data science and machine learning to identify cyber social threats online. She is currently pursuing an M.S. in Information Security Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and has an academic background in Computer Science, Economics and Critical Intelligence Studies from Rutgers University. Her research into Anti-Hindu disinformation, the first of its kind to probe the prevalence of this sentiment on social media platforms, has been widely featured by media outlets such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, BBC, and KQED.

 

 

Charlotte Littlewood is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She is a PhD candidate in Arab and Islamic studies with the University of Exeter University. Her research focuses on minority within Muslim minority conflict in the UK, in particular the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the extent to which the UK is able to support this community.

Charlotte started her career as a Prevent practitioner on behalf of the UK government, going on to be a Counter-Extremism Coordinator for an East London Borough. From this Charlotte went on to found her own community interest company with the aim of countering extremism and promoting equality. She developed and took projects that focused on women’s rights and tackling domestic violence to the West Bank, Palestine. Alongside this she consulted for Muslims Against Antisemitism, working towards greater tolerance and cohesion between communities in the UK.

Charlotte has a LLB in Law and MA in Security and Strategy.

 

 

John Ware worked for the BBC’s flagship documentary programme, Panorama, from 1986 to 2012 and is now freelance. During the Northern Ireland conflict, he reported extensively on the activities of the Provisional IRA, Loyalist paramilitaries,  and the handling of agents, then operating outside a legal framework. Since 9/11, his focus has included the growth of Islamist non-violent extremism in the UK, fragmenting social cohesion, breaches of Charity Commission regulations, and the growth of antisemitism under the last Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 

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EVENT SUMMARY

 

 

The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to host a discussion regarding the Hindu-Muslim civil unrest in Leicester that took place in 2022. The panel was chaired by renowned journalist John Ware, and consisted of HJS research fellow Charlotte Littlewood and Prasiddha Sudhakar, a data and intelligence analyst at the Network Contagion Research Institute. Charlotte Littlewood discussed the findings from her on-the-ground research and interviews from those who were involved in the unrest in Leicester, detailing how the marches were organised and how false narratives were perpetuated by social media and influential individuals. Prasiddha Sudhakar supported Charlotte’s arguments based upon her own analysis of data from social media platforms during the unrest, which tracked mentions of anti-Hindu and anti-Muslim sentiment online. Her research found that social media was weaponised during the unrest, with the majority of violence being incited against the Hindu community in Leicester, fuelled by false narratives regarding Hindu extremism and foreign interference from India.

 

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Venue

Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
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Other

SPEAKER
Prasiddha Sudhakar, Charlotte Littlewood, John Ware

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