BNP Islamophobia not just a PR stunt

Martin Sullivan at Islamophobia Watch on his ongoing debate with Edmund Standing, a contributor to Harry’s Place and author of a recent think tank report which plays up the BNP’s anti-Semitism and plays down its Islamophobia, explains that the BNP’s shift towards Islamophobia is not just a vote-winning move:

I also agree with the article’s conclusion that the BNP is best described as “neo-fascist”, in the sense that it “draws its inspiration from fascist movements of the past while adapting its ideology and forms of organisation to the political situation in Britain today”. And the BNP’s adoption of paranoid fantasies about the imminent Islamification of the West is a clear example of that adaptation. As is was, the BNP leaders already held “beliefs about a well planned conspiracy by ‘international Jewry’ to destroy the white race through immigration and the promotion of race mixing”, to quote Standing himself. So it really wasn’t that much of a stretch for the fascists to embrace Eurabia-style theories about a Muslim plot to conquer Europe.

Just because Griffin and other BNP leaders remain at heart a gang of Nazi admirers and Holocaust-deniers who, in order to make the party electable, have chosen to cover up those aspects of their ideology and promote Islamophobia instead, it does not follow that they regard the latter as a mere sop to popular opinion, an opportunist attempt to “jump on the bandwagon” of anti-Muslim feeling, as Standing contends.

After all, Griffin’s “wicked, vicious faith” speech attacking Islam was not intended for public consumption. It was delivered at an internal BNP meeting, to an audience made up exclusively of party members and supporters, and obviously reflects the sort of political indoctrination that takes place within the BNP’s own ranks. It is hardly accidental that Arthur Kemp, the South African white supremacist whose latest book is entitled Jihad: Islam’s 1,300 Year War On Western Civilisation, is in charge of ideological education in the party.

Nobody ever disputed that the BNP was a racist party run by an anti-Semitic group at its core, but the idea that someone could say such things in a private meeting and not mean it is laughable.

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