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.

 

UK Muslims concerned about an upsurge in Islamphobia after conviction of a gang over child sex trafficking

12 May 2012

 

This week eight men were convicted at Liverpool Crown Court for their involvement in the exploitation of underage girls in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. The members of the gang, who are of Pakistani origin, recruited vulnerable teenage girls as young as 13 years old to force into prostitution. Inevitably the event shocked the British public and the conviction of the gang members led the public to question why the society failed to protect these vulnerable teenagers.

 

Far-right groups such as British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL) took the opportunity to demonize the entire Muslims community for the crime. Muslim groups warned of an increase in hate attacks and abuse against Muslims across the UK.

 

Also, some of the Catholic media joined the far-right in their demonization campaign of Muslims and called on the media to blame the Muslim community for the crime.

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.

Tackling Islamophobia

5 December 2010
In this op-ed, Robert Lambert calls on the long-overdue proper debate on anti-Muslim violence and intimidation:
“The new all-party parliamentary group investigating Islamophobia will need to encourage the coalition government to tackle anti-Muslim violence and intimidation as a matter of urgency. Too many victims have suffered in silence and without remedy since the phenomenon became widespread after 9/11 to allow even a day’s delay.
The violence – ranging from murder, grievous bodily harm, petrol bombings, political violence through to death threats and vandalism – has remained largely hidden and unremarked outside of the communities where it occurs for the best part of a decade.
What motivates the violence? Just as a minority of journalists feel licensed to denigrate Muslims in a way they would not dream of doing to any other faith or ethnic minority community so too a minority of gangs and individuals commit violence against Muslims and their places of worship and congregation in the mistaken but often honestly held belief that they are attacking ‘Muslim terrorists’ or ‘extremists’. Invariably this motivation can be traced back to influential media commentators and politicians – not solely to the British National Party and the English Defence League. (…)”

Sikh will be first non-white in far-right BNP to fight Islamic extremism

An Indian-born Sikh pensioner is hoping to become the first non-white member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) because he wants to fight Islamic extremism. Rajinder Singh, 78, is joining the BNP — whose policies include stopping immigration — after the party voted Sunday to change its constitution to admit ethnic minorities for the first time, following a court ruling.

Singh said he had seen the “potential of Islam”, witnessing extensive violence after partition in 1947, and wanted to “save” Britain by working to prevent similar scenes here. “Islam is global, it has zero loyalty to Britain,” he said. The BNP are sons of soil and they are standing up for their soil. I wish we had a counterpart of the BNP in India in 1946.”

This is an exceptional case of the transfer of a conflict (Indian-Pakistani) to the situation of contemporary Islam in Britain, and of a representative of an ethnic minority joining a far-right party.

Oldham MP named as new immigration minister

The Greater Manchester MP at the centre of a row over Muslim women wearing a veil has been named the new immigration minister. Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, prompted anger in some sections of the Muslim community two years ago when he said some people could find veils `frightening and intimidating’. And earlier this year he suggested that the practice of first-cousin marriage in Britain’s Pakistani community was leading to birth defects. Mr Woolas – who is one of Labour’s most vocal critics of the British National Party – has said his efforts to raise awareness of first-cousin marriages won support from doctors and members of the Asian community. He takes on his new Home Office job as part of the wide-ranging government reshuffle announced by Gordon Brown.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=FD64AD56EF75ACD9FA2BD9C4&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Oldham MP named as new immigration minister

The Greater Manchester MP at the centre of a row over Muslim women wearing a veil has been named the new immigration minister. Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, prompted anger in some sections of the Muslim community two years ago when he said some people could find veils `frightening and intimidating’. And earlier this year he suggested that the practice of first-cousin marriage in Britain’s Pakistani community was leading to birth defects. Mr Woolas – who is one of Labour’s most vocal critics of the British National Party – has said his efforts to raise awareness of first-cousin marriages won support from doctors and members of the Asian community. He takes on his new Home Office job as part of the wide-ranging government reshuffle announced by Gordon Brown.

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BNP anti-Muslim ‘hatred’ flyers circulated in Burnt Oak

Racist flyers promoting the far-right British National Party have been distributed in the west of Barnet, it was reported. The flyers, which contrast scenes from 1940’s Britain with three women in veils under the headline “Is this what you really want?” have been found in Burnt Oak and Colindale in recent weeks. The likely source of the flyers is the BNP presence in Harrow, where in December the party fielded a candidate in a council by-election. The candidate, Howard Studley, finished in last place with 56 votes. Shakil Ahmed, a member of the congregation at the Hendon Mosque, said that relationships between different communities in Barnet were good, but that the concern of such views spreading are “always there”.