Britain First founder Jim Dowson quits over mosque invasions and ‘racists and extremists’

July 28, 2014

The founder of Britain First has resigned from the far-right group over its “provocative and counterproductive” mosque invasions. James “Jim” Dowson, a former British National Party (BNP) member and anti-abortion campaigner, announced his departure on Sunday. While Britain First blamed “media pressure” and family issues for the decision and said he would be missed “enormously” in a saccharine post, Mr Dowson publicly shamed the group’s tactics as “unacceptable and unchristian”.

The 49-year-old told the Mirror: “Most of the Muslims in this country are fine. They are worried about extremists the same as us. So going into their mosques and stirring them up and provoking them is political madness and a bit rude.”

Britain First posts triumphant videos of the so-called “invasions” on its website and Facebook page, where its paramilitary-style arm is seen confronting imams and worshippers. The group also organises “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas and has been known to hand out Bibles to Muslims. The group ignored requests to take off their shoes in a place of worship, saying “when you respect women we’ll respect your mosques”.

The father-of-nine is facing criminal charges relating to loyalist flag protests in Belfast earlier this year and claims to be under “constant police surveillance”.

Lee Rigby’s sacrifice should be commemorated with a public memorial

12th May 2014

We were disappointed to read about the apparent decision to refuse a request for a public memorial to Fusilier Lee Rigby, and hope this can be reconsidered. Lee Rigby’s murder shocked our country. In its wake, we saw Britons from every faith and none come together, both locally and nationally, to mourn his death, to commemorate his service, and to reject the hatred of his killers.

Extreme groups such as the BNP and EDL did try to exploit the tragedy, but found very little public support, being widely seen as part of the problem too. The Rigby family, in their grief, were consistently strong voices in challenging the tiny, unrepresentative minority who sought to use his name to stir up hatred.

If the family’s desire is to have a memorial, neither they, nor the British public as a whole, should be denied the chance to commemorate Lee Rigby’s service and sacrifice in a proper way.

 

Signed,

 

Sughra Ahmed

President, Islamic Society of Britain

 

Mohammed Amin

Deputy Chairman, Conservative Muslim Forum

 

Sunny Hundal

Journalist

 

Dilwar Hussein

New Horizons in British Islam

 

Sunder Katwala

British Future

 

Nick Lowles

Hope Not Hate

 

Imam Ajmal Masoor

 

Stephen Pollard

Editor, Jewish Chronicle

 

Stephen Shashoua

Director, Three Faiths Forum

 

Julie Siddiqi

The Big Iftar

Anti-fascists fuel the fire of hate

Last weekend, Tony Brett, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Oxford and the city’s deputy lord mayor, found what he called a “disgraceful rabble” of people climbing on the city’s main war memorial — squashing, he said, the flowers that mourners had placed there, then trying to remove half of them altogether and “jeering” other visitors as they paid their respects. That day, the memorial was supposed to be the scene of a wreath-laying by the far-Right, racist English Defence League. But neither Mr Brett, nor a local newspaper reporter on the scene, saw any sign of any EDL presence. All the hate Mr Brett said came from the self-appointed opponents of bigotry, a group called Unite Against Fascism (UAF). “It seemed to me they were doing exactly the kind of thing they were supposed to be protesting against,” said Mr Brett. “I will absolutely not support any hint of racism, Islamophobia or any other form of hate, be it from the EDL or any other group. That day I saw it from another group.” The Oxford branch of UAF said its members climbed on the memorial at the request of a photographer. “The EDL’s use of war memorials is an offence to all those who died fighting fascism,” it said in a statement. Since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby last month, there have reportedly been at least 107 arrests during BNP, EDL and UAF demonstrations. At least 69 of those arrested, just under two thirds, were anti-fascist demonstrators, at least 58 of them UAF.

 

Prominent campaigners such as the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell accuse UAF of a selective approach to bigotry. “UAF commendably opposes the BNP and EDL but it is silent about Islamist fascists who promote anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and sectarian attacks on non-extremist Muslims,” said Mr Tatchell. “It is time the UAF campaigned against the Islamist far Right as well as against the EDL and BNP far Right.”

 

One reason why UAF will not campaign against Islamist extremists is that one of its own vice-chairmen, Azad Ali, is one. Mr Ali is also community affairs coordinator of the Islamic Forum of Europe, a Muslim supremacist group dedicated to changing “the very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed from ignorance to Islam”. Mr Ali has written on his blog of his “love” for Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda cleric closely linked to many terrorist plots, including the September 11 attacks, and used to attend talks by Abu Qatada, the extremist cleric whom Britain is seeking to deport. He has described al-Qaeda as a “myth” and denied that the Mumbai attacks were terrorism. On his blog, he also advocated the killing of British troops in Iraq. He sued a newspaper for reporting that he had said this, and lost.

 

The racist Right thrives on two things: publicity and the politics of victimhood. The mob outrage practised by UAF gets the fascists more of both. Mr Brett added: “It just antagonises the situation. The way to deal with this stuff is not to fight it aggressively. That’s exactly what they want you to do.” Nobody has denied that there has been an increase in tensions since the murder of Drummer Rigby. The danger is that by exaggerating it, and by the politics of confrontation, supposedly anti-racist groups fuel the very division, polarisation and tension they are supposed to counter.

BNP leader Nick Griffin urges supporters to ignore police ban on planned march at scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s brutal murder

The leader of the far Right British National Party Nick Griffin has urged his followers to ignore a police ban on the organisation’s planned march near the scene of the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. The call comes despite police warnings that any BNP members who try to demonstrate in south east London on Saturday risk arrest.

 

Mr Griffin posted on Twitter: “Ignore reports of march ban. See you there on Saturday.” He called the ban, which was issued under the Public Order Act, a “police abuse of power”.

 

“The right to protest is a fundamental part of our society, however, such an evocative mix of views being expressed in communities still hurting from Lee’s murder could have resulted in ugly scenes on our streets,” said Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford.

 

The enforced change, if adhered to, raises the prospect of the two far Right rivals – the BNP and English Defence League – reaching the Cenotaph at the same time, along with anti-fascist groups. Speaking to The Independent tonight, Simon Letchford added that the Metropolitan Police was continuing to gather intelligence and would adapt its tactics in the event of any trouble.

 

Lee Rigby’s family call for calm as far-right groups plan day of protest

Relatives say murdered soldier had friends of different cultures and would not want his death used as excuse for violence. The family of Lee Rigby have urged people to “show their respect”, saying the murdered soldier would not want anyone to exploit the event to cause division.

 

Their call came as far-right groups prepared for what could be their biggest mass mobilisation in years, including dozens of planned protests by the English Defence League (EDL) and a British National party (BNP) rally on Saturday in central London.

 

There has been a sharp increase in reports of Islamophobic incidents since Rigby’s death; more than 200 were reported to a hotline in the week following his murder in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May.

 

Anti-racist campaigners say there could be as many as 60 EDL protests around England on Saturday, making it the largest far-right mobilisation in 30 years. Some of the biggest turnouts are expected in Birmingham, Luton and Leeds, and police forces have held emergency meetings to work out how to maintain order.

 

Groups opposed to the far right, such as Hope not Hate, and faith organisations have been organising their own activities. On Friday, representatives of Greenwich Islamic Centre, which has no links to the alleged attackers but became a focus because of its proximity to the murder site, hosted an event in which Muslim community leaders joined representatives from the Jewish, Anglican, Catholic and Sikh faiths to lay a wreath spelling “Peace” at Woolwich barracks, where Rigby was based.

 

It was preceded by a “tea and biscuits” event at the Greenwich centre, modelled on the much-praised impromptu efforts of a York mosque to charm a gathering of EDL would-be protesters earlier this week.

 

Woolwich attacks: BNP and anti-fascists in street clashes

Far-right groups march across UK in wake of Woolwich killing, while police in London arrest 58 during angry scenes yesterday after anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with British National Party members outside the Houses of Parliament. The far-right group’s march was one of around 60 planned across the country yesterday to mark the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, murdered in Woolwich last month.

 

Nick Griffin turned up around two hours later and, addressing reporters, said his supporters had come out to protest peacefully and to oppose any Islamic presence in Britain. And he claimed that the murder of Drummer Rigby would not be an isolated incident.

 

The Metropolitan Police said that the UAF faction numbered around 300 people and the BNP group around 150.

 

The Oxford sex ring shows how the sexual manners of a new place can be tragically misinterpreted

The case of child abuse in Oxford has been much covered, and from a number of angles. A gang of individuals abducted young girls and raped them repeatedly. Some of the girls were introduced to crack cocaine and heroin to make their dependency on the men stronger. Others were branded to show that they belonged to one of their abusers, or given home-devised abortions. The police were slow to take action, despite being very regularly approached by victims and those who knew what was going on. A guest in a hotel was so disturbed by the noise he heard from the room next door that he phoned the police. That is one way of putting it. Another is to draw attention to the fact that here, and in a case in Rochdale last year, the abusers were mostly of Pakistani origin and all Muslims. The victims were all young white girls. There are cases pending for more gang-related grooming and rape offences where the same is true. The police and some media outlets, including the BBC, declined to draw any attention to this fact. You might point out, too, that there are plenty of white abusers and rapists, and conclude that the race of these abusers is of no significance. Or you might go down the BNP route and imply that there is something rotten at the heart of Islam itself. Between the well-meaning liberal account and the ugly BNP version, the truth lies. Race was clearly an important factor for the rapists themselves, who targeted white girls. But it is ridiculous to suggest that there is anything fundamental in the culture prizing the rape of children. Manners of sexual exchange are notoriously changeable from one society to another, and notoriously difficult to interpret. When a gay cardinal forces himself on a junior, we may guess that a shadowy and unsocialised life may not have trained him in the manners of request and acceptance. All he has to go on is what he wants. We have to talk about race in the Oxford and Rochdale cases – we mustn’t pretend it wasn’t an important feature. But race was not the defining feature. What drove these men was deracination: a detachment from one culture, and a failure to attach or understand another. At some level, they believed that they could get away with this because nobody cared about these girls, abandoned in care homes. At another, they no doubt believed, or said to each other that they believed, that white girls were all whores, that anyone who dressed and behaved like that would be happy to be given heroin and have sex with half a dozen men before she was 13 years old.

Far-Right National Front Gearing Up for Election Gains

23 April 2012

Britain’s notoriously Islamophobic and racist far-right party is working hard for the forthcoming local election to restore its power. Although the party gained unprecedented popularity among working-class Britons in 1970s, soon after it began to decline due to a series of internal feuds and the electoral success of the breakaway British National Party (BNP).

Now, with the rising tide of Islamophobia in Britain, the whites-only party is seeking to seize the opportunity and to restore its glory days.

Mosque Arsonists Jailed

07./ 8.12.2011

Last week, two men who were accused of having set fire to a most in Stoke-on-Trent on December 3rd were found guilty of the attack and have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail. The court heard that ex-soldier Simon Beech, 23, and Garreth Foster, 29, planned the arsonist attack in revenge after Muslim extremists burned poppies in Armistice Day (as reported). Beech also admitted that he had been a member of the English Defence League and the BNP. However, he said he was not racists and did not believe his views to be extreme. Subsequently, the judge did not believe the attack to be solely aimed at extremists, but at Muslims more generally.

General Election and UK Muslims

Hugely excited about Britain’s first televised party leaders’ debates, the British media have paid limited attention to the vicious electoral battle being fought in the East London borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Yet the outcome of the general and local elections there on May 6 could have troubling consequences, not least for Britain’s 2.4 million Muslims. For it is in Barking and Dagenham that the leader of the far right British National Party, Nick Griffin, has a fighting chance of winning what has long been a safe seat for Britain’s governing Labour Party.

In Dagenham, as throughout Britain, the whole issue of immigration has never been more emotive. But it is Muslims, portrayed as the “enemy within” bent on Islamizing Britain, who are the chief target of the BNP. From the Muslim perspective, the desirability of voting for the Labour Party to keep the far right out seems clear. Yet such is Muslim disaffection, especially over British foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, that many Muslims appear disinclined to vote at all. Alarmed by the possibility of a triumphant BNP, prominent Muslims are backing a campaign in Dagenham, “Hope, Not Hate”, aimed at mobilizing the Muslim vote. Jewish businessmen, mindful of the threat posed to the Jews of East London by the fascist black shirts led by Oswald Mosley in the 1930s, are backing it, too, for the BNP’s historic anti-Semitism is manifesting itself anew in the area, with Margaret Hodge, who is of Egyptian Jewish parentage, being vilified on grounds of both her race and wealth.