Hindu groups slam BNP claims

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‘We are against what the BNP stand for’, say united Hindu organisations

HINDU groups across the country have united to slam claims made by BNP leader Nick Griffin that British Hindus support the policies of the BNP.

In a joint statement the Hindu Council UK, National Council of Hindu Temples and City Hindus Network said they were against what the BNP stood for.

Mr Griffin made his claims during an interview on Sky News’ Sunday Live with Adam Boulton.

The BNP leader was speaking after pledging to lift a bar on non-whites joining the party in response to court action by The Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Speaking to Adam Boulton he claimed “A large number of the settled ethnic minority population, Sikhs, Hindus and so on, are actually very much in favour of the British National Party’s stance about stopping any further immigration.”

The claim, however, was denied. In a joint statement, Dr Rao, Chair of the Hindu Council UK, Sanjay Jagatia, General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples, and Dhruv Patel, Chair of the City Hindus Network hit back at Mr Griffin.

“The claim made by Nick Griffin that Hindus back BNP is totally without foundation,” the statement said.

“Hindu Council UK, the National Council of Hindu Temples and City Hindus Network have had no contact with the BNP and as a peaceful law abiding community we do not agree with Nick Griffin’s views or policies. We would also like to reiterate that we totally condemn all forms racism and religious intolerance.”

The unified stance against the BNP comes just days before the party is due to appear on BBC’s Question Time.

The move has sparked anger across the country from anti-fascist campaigners who claim the BNP should not be given a media platform to air their message of “bigotry, race and religious hatred.”

On Wednesday anti-fascist group Unite Against Fascism will hold a rally in Central London opposing the move, while its supporters are planning to hold a mass demonstration outside the BBC studios where Question Time will be recorded on Thursday evening.

Ken Livingstone, chair of Unite Against Fascism and former mayor of London, said:

“The BBC should withdraw its invitation to Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time. A court ruled this week that the fascist BNP’s membership rules illegally discriminate on grounds of race. This is only part of the picture. When the BNP is given a major media platform for its message of bigotry, race and religious hatred, hate attacks by thugs on the streets increase.

“The public do not pay license fees to have them abused by the BBC to help people spread hatred and intolerance. If the BBC continues with this policy it will share responsibility for the crimes against minorities which will follow.”

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