Tuesday, 27 March 2012

British National Party and Ethnic Minorities

I remember when I first heard the claim that the British National Party (BNP) had some limited support from a few Hindus and Sikhs, and was absolutely dumbfounded.  There is no doubt that the persecution of non-Muslim Asians (primarily Hindu and Sikh, but also atheist and Christian) in the UK by Muslim Asians was a contributing factor behind this.  Also through the years, the BNP have tried to soften their image and were even forced by law to allow membership to ethnic minorities. However, this doesn't change the fact that it's a racist organization, formed as a splinter group from the National Front, that only exists for the furtherance of its racist ideals.

To anyone among the ethnic minorities who may be thinking of supporting organizations like the BNP due to their hard stance on Islam, please reconsider.  Yes, they pale in comparison to the extremism found within mainstream Islam, a belief system which (when followed) would execute Hindus and Sikhs (i.e. idolators/pagans) if they refused to convert, but fighting hate with more hate is never the answer. The BNP is following a familiar pattern that can be found among some, but certainly not all, "Islam critical" sites/blogs/forumers which are simply using Islam as a platform to push their racist views. An example of this would be in how some discussions related to Muslim population growth quickly turn to criticism of Mexican and African immigrants or multiculturalism.

Information on BNP members and violence from Wikipedia:

John Hagan claims that the BNP has conducted right-wing extremist violence in order to gain "institutionalized power". Critics of the BNP, such as Human Rights Watch in a 1997 report, have asserted that the party recruits from skinhead groups and that it promotes racist violence.
In the past, Nick Griffin has defended the threat of violence to further the party's aims. In 1986, when Griffin was Deputy Chair of the NF, he advised his audience at an anti-IRA rally to use the "traditional British methods of the brick, the boot and the fist." After the BNP won its first council seat in 1993, he wrote that the BNP should not be a "postmodernist rightist party" but "a strong, disciplined organisation with the ability to back up its slogan 'Defend Rights for Whites' with well-directed boots and fists. When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate". In 1997 he said: "It is more important to control the streets of a city than its council chambers."
A BBC Panorama programme reported on a number of BNP members who have had criminal convictions, some racially motivated. The BBC's list is extensive. Some of the more notable convictions include:
John Tyndall had convictions for assault and organising paramilitary neo-Nazi activities. In 1986 he was jailed for conspiracy to publish material likely to incite racial hatred.
In 1998, Nick Griffin was convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, relating to incitement to racial hatred. He received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was fined £2,300.
Kevin Scott, who in 2001 was the BNP's North East regional organiser, has two convictions for assault and using threatening words and behaviour.
Joe Owens, now expelled but previously a BNP candidate in Merseyside and former bodyguard to Nick Griffin, served eight months in prison for sending razor blades in the post to Jewish people and another term for carrying CS gas and knuckledusters.
Tony Wentworth, former BNP student organiser, was convicted alongside Owens for assaulting demonstrators at an anti-BNP event in 2003.
Colin Smith, who in 2004 was the BNP's South East London organiser, has 17 convictions for burglary, theft, possession of drugs and assaulting a police officer.
Richard Edmonds, at the time BNP National Organiser, was sentenced to three months in prison in 1994 for his part in a racist attack. Edmonds threw a glass at the victim as he was walking past an East London pub where a group of BNP supporters was drinking. Others then 'glassed' the man in the face and punched and kicked him as he lay on the ground, including BNP supporter Stephen O'Shea, who was jailed for 12 months. Another BNP supporter, Simon Biggs, was jailed for four and a half years for his part in the attack.
Tony Lecomber cases
Tony Lecomber was imprisoned for three years for possessing explosives, after a nail bomb exploded while he was carrying it to the offices of the Workers' Revolutionary Party in 1985. He was imprisoned for three years in 1991, whilst the BNP's Director of Propaganda, for assaulting a Jewish teacher.
Robert Cottage case
In 2007, Robert Cottage, a former BNP council candidate, was sentenced to two and a half years for possession of explosives but a conspiracy charge against him was withdrawn after two juries had been unable to reach a verdict. The prosecution claimed that Cottage had plans to assassinate Tony Blair and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Greaves.
The chemicals recovered by police are believed to be the largest explosives haul ever found at a house in Britain.

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