Re: WHY MUST I RESPECT ISLAM?, Rod Liddle, Evening Standard, 20th July 2004
In defending the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, Rod Liddle, not uncharacteristically entirely misses the point of the proposed new law which is intended to outlaw Incitement to Religious Hatred. It is not at all meant to curb robust debate � and when the draft legislation is actually published we can all examine whether safeguards have been built in to ensure that this remains the case.
When Nick Griffin was revealed in last week�s BBC1 documentary, Secret Agent, to have called on Britons to �to stand up and act for the party or they (Muslims) will do for someone in your family�, this was no longer a call to debate, but a call to arms. Griffin is clearly a man who relishes creating social strife so that he can further his party�s divisive agenda.
Indeed, the BBC documentary demonstrated a clear link between the vile and hateful language of the BNP and serious acts of criminal violence. A BNP local council candidate, Stewart Williams, was shown as saying "all I want to do is shoot Pakis" and "blow up" Bradford's mosques with a rocket launcher. Another BNP member, Dave Midgley, claimed that for three weeks he had placed dog faeces through the letter box of a local Indian restaurant. A BNP member, Steve Barkham confessed to a racial attack in the 2001 Bradford riot in which he kicked the Muslim victim until he was left "floppy with his head bleeding", while Mark Collett, another candidate, dehumanised asylum-seekers as called them "cockroaches".
Rod Liddle is welcome to continue with his philandering that he obliquely referred to in his article. It may hurt the children and partners of others, or it may not, but as long as Rod is happy why should anyone mind? But please don�t tell British Muslims that they simply ought to be quiet and put up with incitement from any quarter, including from fringe elements within the British Muslim community who take delight in provoking reciprocal hatred. To allow others to incite hatred in this manner is to abuse and endanger the very freedoms we truly need to protect.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain
London E15 1NT