1989 Dewsbury riot

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The Dewsbury riot of 1989 was a minor clash between activists of the British National Party (BNP) and local South Asian youths. The police used riot gear in controlling the events.


Dewsbury is a mill town in Yorkshire, England. After World War II, it attracted large numbers of immigrants from Pakistan and the Gujarat area of West India. In 1982, the Markazi mosque was built in the Savile Town area to serve the town's Islamic community.[1] This remains the largest mosque in Britain as of March 2008. The number of Muslims in Dewsbury grew steadily as it gained a reputation as an Islam-friendly community in Britain.

Protests had taken place all over England with Muslims objecting to the publication of The Satanic Verses by author Salman Rushdie. In 1989, the BNP held a rally in Dewsbury which was met with derision from the local Muslim community and a counter rally was held by the black workers group which recruited Muslim youths from Dewsbury, Savile Town and neighbouring suburbs, intent on disruption, including disruption of the rally of the BNP. The police managed to contain the rioters, wanting to avoid confrontations in the town centre of Dewsbury and rounded them up, pushing them over Savile Bridge and up Savile Road towards Savile Town and the Scarborough hotel.


Dewsbury is still routinely identified in the media as one of the most racially divided towns in Britain.[2] Its Asian population was estimated at 33% in November 2006.[3] (This may be lower due to immigration of Hungarians and Kurds into the town.)

In March 2007, the local NHS estimated Savile Town at "97-100% Muslim".[4]

There have been two further minor riots in Dewsbury: one between Kurds and Pakistanis in 2007, and one between Hungarians and Pakistanis in February 2008.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Muslime in Europa
  2. ^ "We must pay heed to angry young men, says senior Tory", Yorkshire Post.
  3. ^ Wendy Kristianasen, "Britain’s multiculturalism falters" Le Monde diplomatique (English edition), November 2006.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) paragraph 4.3
  5. ^ The Press - The Intelligent Weekly.