1989 Dewsbury race riot

The Dewsbury riot of 1989 was a minor clash between activists of the British National Party and local South Asian youths. Riot gear was used by the police 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 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.

A small number of white parents in the town had withdrawn their children from schools in Savile Town due to opposition to the number of children of Muslim parents in the schools. The BNP, formed seven years earlier as a splinter group from the National Front, organised a "Rights for Whites" demonstration in support of the parents.

The riot occurred when the BNP supporters tried to march into Savile Town. The Scarborough pub in the area was burned down during the rioting.[citation needed]


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


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