The Guardian today reported how a Sikh man who has campaigned for the British National Party (BNP) in support of its anti-Islam stance has been nominated to be the party’s first non-white member.

As the newspaper reported:

Rajinder Singh, who is in his late 70s, has twice lent support to Nick Griffin during the British National Party leader’s court appearances and appeared in an election broadcast for the party in 2005. There have been suggestions that he could stand as a BNP candidate at next year’s general election.

Mr Singh apparently came to Britain in 1967 and had a regular column in the BNP’s newspaper Freedom and has spoken at BNP meetings where he has been outspoken in his criticism of Muslims.

Whether Mr Singh is right or wrong in joining the Party is not up for question. Instead, the question is whether or not the onlooking public should be surprised?

For some years now, and despite accusations of being racist, the BNP has been seeking tentative links with some from within British Sikh and Hindu communities. Having written about this is my chapter ‘From race to religion: the new face of discrimination’ in Tahir Abbas’s collection Muslim Britain: communities under pressure (2005) and indeed elsewhere, I’m surprised that this has not been picked upp on before. In fact, the Guardian reported on this very issue back in 2001.

Without falling back on over-simplified arguments which suggest the BNP will use any means available to achieve their ‘ultimate goal’ (i.e. a ‘white Britain’), is it now time for a new, more nuanced approach to be adopted towards the Party that 22% of the voting population are ‘seriously considering’ voting BNP?

Is it now time, given the Party’s apparent growing appeal and the fact that they appear to be consistently refuting – with some success – the suggestion that they are ‘racist’, to recognise that Islam is widely perceived to be a ‘problem’ in today’s society and that it is this resistance to Islam that is bringing previously disparate communities together in such damaging ways?

Personally, I think that it is.

If the ‘problem’ of Islam (and by default, Muslims too) is not begun to be seriously tackled by the politicians, decision-makers and others with relevant influence, then I fear that Mr Singh will not be the last ‘non-white’ to unite with the BNP in order to take an anti-Islam stance.

Black and white unite…?

In fact, had people been watching and responding accordingly to recent events rather than the same talking heads merely offering the same old obligatory condemnations – the BNP/ English Defence League (EDL)/ etc “are bad” – then it would have been noticed that when the EDL took to the streets across our cities earlier this year, they did so carrying banners that proclaim: ‘Black and White Unite’.

Black and white unite, that is, against Islam.

Surely the time for a new approach to tackle the ‘problem’ is clearly upon us…

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4 thoughts on “Sikh man to be first non-white member of the BNP: why the surprise?

  1. BNP/EDL = “bad”. Well, they are. They’re racist, anti-Semitic bigots. Their leadership is riddled with criminal elements, and they are closely associated this fascists and Nazi ideologies. The fact they have taken a rhetorical stance against Islam is hardly a revelation. If you think it begs a need for a switch in direction in respect of how they should be tackled, then let’s hear about it. This blog makes vague gestures. Outline a clear intellectual/political direction, if you have one.

    1. I think you’re missing the point. I’m not saying that the BNP aren’t ‘bad’, just that merely paying lip service to this is largely irrelevant. Both the BNP and its supporters (and potential voters) have heard it all before – and most don’t believe that they are ‘bad’…!!! And isn’t merely saying the BNP are ‘bad’ pretty vague in itself ???

      That’s fine and I largely agree with what you’re saying but two questions need to be objectively answered as I suggested via Facebook:

      1. Is calling him a twerp going to stop people voting BNP?

      2. Who is listening…? Read more

      My suggested answers to 1. is ‘No’ and 2. ‘Not the people who are likely to vote BNP’. As such, what value stating that they’re ‘bad’…???

      All I’m saying is that current methods of ‘combating’ the BNP aren’t and haven’t worked and that now’s the time to do things differently.

      Sadly those that perpetuate the BNP is ‘bad’ mantra seem to jump to the ridiculous and quite immature conclusion that if you dare question this approach – and not the sentiment – then you must be in some way supportive of the BNP or in denial of their unpleasantness.

      Constructive criticism shouldn’t hurt anyone. The reality though is quite different…

  2. Everybody should join the BNP its not fair what pakis are doing and giving us a bad name aswel white dnt look at if ur a sikh or a paki just the colour…we al should be like this sikh guy and time we said some thing…

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