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  • Technorati: graph / links

    How their language has changed

    by Sunny on 19th October, 2009 at 2:22 AM    

    Nick Griffin was interviewed on Sky News this week over their decision to change the constitution to not discriminate against ethnic minorities. Watch:

    As I’ve said before, Nick Griffin is a slippery character and Adam Boulton couldn’t really catch him out. A few observations:

    1) As I’ve said before Nick Griffin must be happy the party’s policy of discriminating against ethnic minority members has been dropped. I bet he wanted it dropped because he knew it was the most symbolic example of the BNP’s racism. The EHRC action was an own-goal because it allowed Griffin to avoid confronting his own party and telling them the BNP would go bankrupt unless it changed policy.

    2) Griffin seems to have ditched the repatriation policy, though he keeps claiming that ‘British’ is a racial identity when it’s clearly not.

    3) His categorisation of British citizens is telling: (1) white ‘indigenous’ peoples; (2) minorities (and he refers to Hindus and Sikhs) who are law abiding and settled in this country; (3) people who apparently want to subvert this country’s traditions - Muslims.

    As I’ve said before, British Muslims have become the BNP’s main target and bogeymen. The rhetoric against them is couched them very much in the neo-conservative narrative: that these people are problematic because they’re trying to subvert the country for their own agenda - that sense of paranoia that Muslims are the fifth-column is clearly palpable.

    4) Last week Newsnight aired a short film on the English Defence League. What’s interesting about the EDL is that they go out of their way to be anti-Nazi and pro-Israel. And their rhetoric is also the same: ‘we are only against Islamic extremism, but is frequently conflated with all Muslims.

    5) All this rhetoric must be increasingly annoying to our traditional gang of anti-Jihadis who have long espoused this line. After all they were the ones couching their agendas expressly in anti-Islamist terms while the BNP and their ilk were just downright racist. Now it’s all getting very confusing for everyone and, I suspect, annoying for them.

    6) In one sense I feel sorry for many of the kids who have signed up to the English Defence League because they’ve clearly swallowed the tabloid hysteria against Muslims. I question their motives and their agenda but I bet many of them genuinely don’t see themselves as racist, only anti-Muslim. Open racism has become such a taboo that even the BNP are afraid to openly admit to it in case their casual supporters see behind the facade.

    Filed in: Race politics, Religion

    • MixTogether
      According to the Guardian's Diary column last week, Jack Straw is under instruction not to refer to the BNP as racist or fascist while on Question Time. This is to prevent upsetting ex-Labour voters who voted BNP.

      Now the constitution has changed, i believe it is a matter of time until Griffin makes a direct pitch to Asian voters, including the idea that mixed marriage is dangerous to both cultures.
    • Boyo
      "I question their motives and their agenda but I bet many of them genuinely don’t see themselves as racist, only anti-Muslim."

      If it's the same film I saw I seem to recall plenty of black skin beneath the balaclavas.

      While i agree the BNP are simply using Islam as an excuse for racism, really they are the best ally your perspective has Sunny - because they tar any "anti-jihadi" as you put it with the same brush.

      Opposing the cultural influence of Islam upon the UK appears to you to be synonymous with racism, which is just absurd really. As Christopher Caldwell points out in his Reflections (and I would be interested to read a serious review by you) post-1945 fear of racism stifled any reasonable debate about the impact of mass immigration, and particularly Islam, on European society (and yes, there is such a thing). But an attachment to European values does not equate to racism Sunny, honestly. Even if you think that deep-down it does (as I believe you do, for whites anyway, which is a wee bit, well...).

      Yes, racists use Islam as a stick, but in a way racists are the best stick Islamism has (hence the UAF mobs). What I found touching in the film was the, albeit inarticulate, sincerity of the EDL who, to me, seemed like an authentic voice of working class (class!) outrage at the high-handed ambivalence by the elite for the culture and values of our country, that are shared by black and white alike.
    • damon
      I think that I now have the opinion that the ''anti-nazi'' approach to the BNP and particularly the EDL has failed. In fact I think it might have had a counter productive effect. In that it has hardened the feelings of people who have then gone and voted for the BNP. I think the furore about Griffin being on Question Time might also be a bit of overkill.

      There is something about this UAF reaction to the EDL in Manchester that I find disturbing. Is there some class hatred in there?

      I don't think that large scale counter demonstrations are really the way foreward, as it's fine if there are only 30 EDL guys that turn up like in Birmingham and great sport can be had by anti-racist and Asian youths hunting them down and beating them up, but if the EDL turned up with just a few more people, like they seem to have in Manchester, it could become a serious inter-racial incident.

      I think these EDL supporters need to be talked to - not that it might do much good, but this UAF anti-nazi rubbish isn't doing much either.

      The BNP is a different matter, but many of them are not the monsters they are made out to be. Many of their supporters are just seriously thick people who have the reading age of seven year olds.
    • opit
      The ''tabloid hysteria' against Muslims is an ongoing campaign of religious bigotry staged as a tool to reduce sympathy for the receivers of material largesse in the form of expended munitions and bombings of their homes in Asia and the Middle East. It's an old trick of colonialism continued in whatever media is available.
      There are more selections illustrating campaigns to generate public bias in the cache from which I just retrieved it : http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/07/perce...
      'Islamofascism' is a word I never heard of until the ad brigade dreamed it up a few years ago : a stupidity it's hard to believe people swallow.
    • Morrigan

      One man's Islamophobic is another man's Islamosceptic!

      Islamophobic is not a generally accepted term...
    • Joseph Edwards
      Morrigan, Islamosceptic is even less accepted. Let's not split hairs here.
    • Morrigan
      They are both made-up words, aren't they?
    • Tom Griffin
      The English Defence League is a typical part of the pan-European counterjihad movement.
      Basically, US neoconservatives close to the Center for Security Policy have been playing footsie with elements of the European far-right that are willing to replace antisemitism with Islamophobia. Examples include the Vlaams Belang, the Sweden Democrats, and Pro Koln (who have been running EDL-style demonstrations outside mosques in Germany).

      I have assembled some details on the EDL's counterjihad connections here:

      Alan Lake's Youtube videos are particularly enlightening:

      As is his website:
    • Ravi Naik
      "Islamofascism" is a term coined by the Bush administration to link the "War on Terror(tm)" with WW2. The stupidity and sheer ignorance of the term is self-evident.
    • P.Brennan
      Actually “Islamofascism” is widely used in private circles to describe people who preach "Behead those who insult Islam", "Democracy go to hell" etc.
    • Morrigan
      Similarly Islamosceptic is increasingly used to describe those who have a problem with Islam but not with Muslims.

      Which- when you consider that apostasy is still punishable by death under Sharia- makes most people Islamosceptics!
    • Andy Gilmour
      Damon, do you really think "great sport can be had by anti-racist and Asian youths hunting them down and beating them up,"

      that's the language of the 18th century.

      Are you seriously advocating violence as a response to small-scale peaceful protest (even if they're a bunch of idiots, half of whom are ex-football thugs hoping for an excuse for a fight)...?

      Ho hum.
    • damon
      No Andy, exactly the opposite. I shouldn't have tried to be ironic. My point was the idea that these 'nazis' are fair game for getting beaten up (or even overly demonised by large counter demonstrations) was playing with fire.

      If serious violence broke out in some place like Blackburn or Oldham between EDL and Asian youths (who are being told by the likes of Salma Yaqoob that they are nazis and fascists who have come to attack their communities) then ghetoisation could increase.

      Because as it stands at the minute, the anti-fascists are presuming that they have a right to escalate the violence as they deem it necessary. If the EDL turned up in larger numbers and were actually, on the day, quite a handy and formidable football hooligan like group, it seems that those who are there to counter it would quickly resort to weapons, and ever more serious attacks.

      I'm hoping that things won't get to that though.
      If these EDL guys (and even BNP guys) were actually causing violence to ethnic minority people (or muslims), then I'd have no problem with people defending themselves, but at the moment I really don't care for the UAF tactics.
    • Colin
      Don't be naive, Damon. The SWP (which controls the UAF) sees counter demos against the EDL as a way of recruiting activists ("See - we are the ones who stand up to the fascists"). If these counter demos provide a focus for Muslim youth, as happened in Birmingham and Harrow, and this in turn sparks a racial conflagration on the Oldham/Bradford model then the SWP simply doesn't care.
    • kismet hardy
      What a lot of newfangled words Islam has earned lately. Islamophobia. Islamosceptic. These angry young Muslim chaps should be encouraged to play sports. Basketball, perhaps? We could call it Islamdunk. Or they could play the old schoolboy game Hide the Islami. I hope this has been helpful
    • kismet hardy
      Ooh or there's the old schoolboy game, hide the islami
    • douglas clark

      That's just islami slicing so it is.
    • damon
      In the Newsnight clip the police are said to have taken 800 photographs of EDL members who showed up in Manchester. Is that good policing? Maybe it is, but I find this practice a bit sinister as well.
      It seems that they want to know the name and face of everyone who turns up at an EDL event.
      If they are doing that to the EDL, they might be doing the same same thing for everyone who turns up for the UAF, or outside parliament to oppose Guantanamo detentions, and that feels like the heavy hand of the law.
      They gather lots of information and put it on their computors, and they get their information mixed up.
      Coming from France, I was once questioned at Dover by some police officer who said he was from Special Branch who said he had information that I had been a member of the Troops Out Movement, when I had never had anything to do with them at all.
      I once went to a meeting where Bernadette McAliskey spoke, and another where Gerry Adams spoke too, so maybe was photographed and put on some computor file.

      Has anyone seen the BNP website lately?
      They have a countdown clock counting down the days, minutes and seconds until their leader takes to the stage on Question Time.
      It's almost quite touching.
    • Dalbir
      Has anyone seen the BNP website lately?

      I had a peep and they have a piece about Sunny and his 20 questions up! They spelt your name wrong btw.
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