British-Egyptian Mohammed Hijab, who has a sizable presence on social media platforms including YouTube and Twitter, responded to the accusation of mocking reincarnation, a key tenet of the Hindu faith. “I wasn’t actually mocking reincarnation in that situation, I was saying that if I believed in reincarnation. I have to offer my apologies to the entire community if it sounded like I was mocking.”
“Potentially you are right, I’ll give you that, maybe what I did needs refinement,” Hijab told Channel 4 News Home Affairs Correspondent Darshna Soni.
Hijab, who calls himself a researcher of political philosophy and the philosophy of religion, added, “I think it’s fair for us to say also that there is a different reaction from the press when a Muslim decides to show or express themselves in political ways, than there is from other people.”
The clashes in Leicester started after the India-Pakistan cricket match in Dubai on August 28 and escalated in September. According to police, nearly 50 people were arrested in connection with these incidents. Police, the local MP, Hindu and Muslim community leaders have called for calm to ease tensions.
When asked why he visited Leicester during the period of crisis, he claimed that he moved from his home in London to the city to “ease tensions”.
“For two reasons, fundamentally, one of them is to actually kind of ease tensions and deescalate the situation. I wanted to let people know, the young people that I knew I had an influence on, not to break the law and this is very clear on the public record that I said this, ‘don’t vandalise things, don’t break the law’,” said Hajib, whose online videos are hugely popular among young Muslims, attracting millions of views.
Asked if his trip to Leicester was motivated by the desire to drive more traffic to his YouTube videos Hajib responded: “Yeah, that’s something I have to struggle with within myself to see what are my true intentions because as a Muslim, spiritually, I should be effectively doing everything for the sake of God. I have to manage my own inauthenticity just like I think everyone else does. Maybe the unconscious mind and the ego and the super ego are battling each other. But you know, I can’t say much about that, perhaps you’re right.”
“If young Muslim men, they feel alienated to the point where they can’t even be heard, or that their side of the story is not even told, I think that is a pathway to extremism, unfortunately,” the social media star was quoted as saying by Channel 4 News.