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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