Why were the BNP allowed to walk free?

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Bushra speaks out for the community

At a time when a Muslim allegedly holding an ‘offensive’ banner is convicted of inciting racial hatred the BNP leader and associate WALK FREE by an ALL WHITE JURY after calling Islam a “wicked, vicious faith” and that Muslims were turning Britain into a “multi-racial hellhole”at rallies.

The claim by Griffin that he was attacking religion not race gave him the loophole he needed to convince the all white jury to acquit him of inciting racial hatred.

So why has this loophole not been closed before?

Let us check the history of the recent Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 passed in February 2006 but which still has not come into force.

Religious Discrimination Legislation

The Labour government despite its promises to bring religious discrimination law into force, made two half hearted attempts to pass the legislation and then handed it to the House of Lords who eventually approved a watered down version of the Bill.

On the first attempt in 2001, 15 MPs were absent as they were campaigning in a by-election. They obviously did not consider this an important issue as it does not concern them directly. The second time it was defeated by ONE vote and that was when the Prime Minister did not attend. He also did not consider it an important issue (?) despite the fact that it has been suggested that if this law had existed the Bradford, Burnley and Oldham Riots which were described as ‘sheer carnage’ could have been avoided. It is arguable that extremist parties such as the BNP could have been stopped and the result today could have been very different.

The legislation, Racial and Religious Discrimination Act 2006 makes it an offence to stir up hatred on religious grounds and amended the law on encouraging racial hatred. This Act has been passed since February 2006 but we still have to await a date for when it is to be considered effective law. Why are we still waiting…?

 

Blasphemy Laws

The current Blasphemy laws have been described by a trial judge in a private prosecution in 1977 as defining blasphemous libel being committed if a publication about God, Christ, the Christian religion or the Bible used scurrilous, abusive or offensive which vilified Christianity and might lead to a breach of the peace.

As can be seen the above legislation only protects one religion in this multi-cultural and multi-religious society. The protection offered by the Racial and Religious Discrimination Act 2006 does not give the same protection. Much rhetoric has been spoken about abolishing it but the truth is that it remains and remains for a reason. If it is needed for one sector of the society why is it not relevant to the rest? Why is it so difficult to amend it to reflect todays society by extending it to cover ALL religions?

The truth is that if the above action had been taken matters such as Salman Rushdie and the cartoon affair would not have escalated out of control.

The Public Order Act 1986 offers protection to Jews and Sikhs against racial hatred but not to other religions.

How can a multi religious community exist in peaceful cohesion if the laws are selectively applied?

 

The British National Party

The BNP Party was founded by John Tyndall in 1982 with the guiding principle of opposing non-white immigration and endorsing repatriation of blacks and Asians.

The BNP strove to take advantage of the high unemployment and discontent by blaming the minorities and playing on the fears of the white public especially the ones who were unemployed and wished to blame someone for their problems. Therefore, if you were coloured and unemployed you were scroungers of the State, if you were employed you were taking their jobs.

To avoid being called racist although obviously a person is not racist by saying he is but by what he says- in my opinion to discriminate people on the basis of their colour comes within the definition of racism. So the mere fact that their guiding principle is to oppose non-white immigration is itself racist and why this has not been challenged by the CRE or the government before is questionable.

Realising they were on danger territory they changed their tactics to say they were against a religion and, of course, the muslim religion was an easy target to start with.

The National Statistics 2001 show that 96% of the UK population is white British and only 3% are Muslims. So the fears upon which the BNP strive of these ethnic minorities ‘taking over’ are completely unfounded and simply playing on peoples paranoia and are misleading the public.

 

Fear of Mainstream Parties Losing Seats

John Cruddas MP said that the BNP strived in poor communities and claimed that mainstream parties had created ‘fear, tension and suspicion’ during the Muslim Veil debate and talking tough on immigration and race and using words such as ‘war on terror’ did not reassure but makes the situation worse and creates tension and suspicion.

He claimed that this division of communities was playing into the hands of the extremists and pushing people to the BNP and that the mainstream parties may lose out in the elections.

So, the penny drops, the extremism may now affect the mainstream parties and MPs so they may consider religious discrimination important and do something to protect themselves.

Selfish world, isn’t it? and another strong argument to campaign for political candidates who reflect the communities they represent.

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