Friday, June 24, 2005


Groups AND Persons Unite Against Radical BNP Theology!!

Furthermore, the BNP are as cunning as my arse.

Ianyat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain has tried to justify the absurd new Racial and Religious Hatred Bill in an article in The Times.

Bunglawala tries to pick an example of an action that might be a new offence under the new law. (This is much better than the Government could do during the debate. Uniquely, they could give no example of what types of harm would be prevented by the Bill which are not covered by existing legislation). His example is:

"ONE DAY in November 2001 a large group of protesters from the British National Party dressed as Crusaders and paraded outside the Houses of Parliament with placards reading “Get Islam Out Of Britain”. Had they been overtly targeting a racial group, they would have been breaking the law - incitement to racial hatred has been a crime since 1986. To get round the law, groups on the far Right have been cunningly reformulating their noxious rants. Instead of targeting racial groups, they target unprotected religious groups."

From this we learn that to 'target' Islam is to target a 'group'. This is not what the MPs who voted for it think:

Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): "In the past, I have voted against such a provision. Since the Government have granted an amendment to make it clear that the offence is incitement against people on the ground of religious hatred, I am happy to support the measure today. I do not believe that it prevents people from speaking out about their antipathy to specific religions."

Lynne Jones' thoughts are, in fact, a little confused. This is not suprising: The Bill itself commences by referring to 'persons', but quickly switches to 'groups'. And you don't have to intend to stir up hatred against them. Your actions must only be likely to do so. Bunglawala must, therefore, be closer to the center of the mist than Jones. There is no distinction: If you speak about a religion you speak about its adherents, and the supposedly important inclusion of the word 'persons' in this latest version of the Bill is not significant.

As no religions are to be excluded from the definition of religion, then it would be equally illegal to say:

"Get Scientology out of Britain!"
"Get the Unification Church out of Britain!" (Moonie-ism)
"Get Unitarianism out of Britain!" (The Chistian heresy of not believing in the trinity).
"Get Theonomy out of Britain!" (The belief in the equal validity of the Old Testament).
"Get Charismatics out of Britain!" (Christian Sects who emphasize spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues.)

A critic might argue that Scientology is not a 'real' religion. A fair point. We should consider what the difference is supposed to be or why it is important. Secularism means that there should be no deference to religion in law at all, including, for example, in charity law. The law and its all-too physical sanctions must not concern itself with anyone's metaphysical or theological beliefs.

I oppose scientology because of its actions, not because of its metaphysics. (Although the metaphysics of Scientology happens to be a very good way of mocking it). The same applies to Islam. Opposition to it is unlikely to be a theological quibble. It will usually be related to the fact that Islam is also a political philosophy.

A critic might then say: "But these are absurd examples that have no relevance in the real world!" Quite the contrary. I myself have protested against Scientology and expressed myself in strong terms. I did so last week. The matter is therefore of great practical and immediate importance to me. I don't want to be bundled into the back of a police van to await the Attorney General's arbitrary dispensation.

The key point in Bunglawala's argument is, as he informs us, that the "far Right have been cunningly reformulating their noxious rants". This sort of claim is frequently heard. It refers to a single political organisation, the BNP. (It cannot conceivably be meant to refer to, for example, the National Front, whose avowed aim is the enforced repatriation of non-whites). Those who make it cannot have studied their subject closely:

The BNP is an overtly racist organisation that has made no 'reformulation', let alone a cunning one. The BNP's Fuhrer, Nick Griffin, has explained in tedious detail both that

A) the BNP is a party of racial theory ("Mankind is divided into races, and those races, while sharing many common features of humanity, are innately different in many ways beyond mere colour.." "..We don’t hate anyone, especially the mixed race children who are the most tragic victims of enforced multi-racism, but that does not mean that we accept miscegenation as moral or normal. We do not and we never will.") and

B) that dropping the principle of enforced repatriation was only done for strategic reasons. (Although it was going to far for a BNP candidate to say "“I’m the grandfather of two mixed-race children who I love dearly.” That is unnaceptable.)

So Bunglawala is wrong about the facts. In any case, can it really be that we require new legislation just to hinder these nazi nincompoops? If they protest against Islam, why should this be treated differently than if they protested against Theonomy, or Communism? If they commit real crimes, then they should be arrested for them. We have no business stopping them doing anything at all, from prohibiting ALL their activities. Perhaps Nick Griffin likes to drink tea or go jogging. These would not thereby be 'cunning reformulations'. They would remain legitimate activitities that ordinary people engage in. To protest against religions is also such an activity.

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