Saturday, January 28, 2006

The BNP on trial. Or is it freedom of speech?

The BNP and its leader Nick Griffin are on trial at Leeds Crown Court on charges of incitement to racial hatred.

The subject is a very delicate one and I can't help but wonder whether a ban on the BNP or the 'judicial route' are the correct way of dealing with the issue.

Sure enough, the BNP is a vile, old-fashioned, homophobic (or more generally, phobic), far-right organisation. But, like it or not, it expresses views that are not that uncommon across sections of society; views that are not helped by a permanent ban on the media, on the grounds that they are 'racist' or 'unpleasant'.

Honesty would suggest that - at this point in history- if damage on minorities and the Muslim community is being done, part of the blame is also to be shouldered by fundamentalist Islam or the preachings of Imams such as Abu Hamza or Sheikh Mohammed Bakri of Al-Mujaharoun. Meetings legally take place in this country -remember the Al Mujaharoun rally at the Birmingham NIA, just down the road- where appalling things are said about women's liberties, the 'infidels', or wiping the Jews off the map. Victimising the BNP won't solve a single thing.

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