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Lancashire Rejects Anti-Islam Pamphlets

Published: 26/04/2013 12:18:29 PM GMT
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CAIRO - The distribution of anti-Islam leaflets from a far-right activist asking Lancashire councilors to support a campaign blaming Muslims for the ‘heroin trade' is inviting huge criticism for spreading hatred against the r (more)

CAIRO - The distribution of anti-Islam leaflets from a far-right activist asking Lancashire councilors to support a campaign blaming Muslims for the ‘heroin trade' is inviting huge criticism for spreading hatred against the religious minority.

“This is full of loathing and hatred towards a religious group,” Leyland Central councillor, Caleb Tomlinson, told Lancashire Evening Post on Friday, April 26.

“I do not want it being put through my door.”

Tomlinson is one of the three South Ribble councilors who received letters and pamphlets from Tony Bamber, who will be standing in next month's Lancashire County Council elections as a member of the British National Party (BNP) in Burnley.

The leaflet states it has been produced by the ‘Preston Pals' in honor of the 7th Battalion of the North Lancashire Regiment, who fought at the Somme during the First World War, and held the same name.

Bamber was taken to court in 2010 accused of distributing leaflets designed to inflame religious hatred against Muslims, but was found not guilty.

The pamphlets were defended by BNP spokesman Simon Darby as “the truth”.

“Tony is a very active campaigner, and for a very good reason,” he said.

“He is naturally spreading the message across Lancashire that there is more and more evidence to suggest that the deliberate spreading of heroin is an ethno-religious ploy to pose a risk to our population.

“Some might see that as being quite extreme, but it's the truth.”

British Muslims, estimated at nearly two million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 attacks.

A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.

A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.

Far-right groups like the EDL and BNP are playing the card of immigration to stoke sentiment against Muslims and immigrants.

Last November, British police warned that the anti-Muslim demonstration by the EDL fuel extremism and harm social cohesion in Britain.

Condemnations

The hateful message of the pamphlets was widely condemned by South Ribble councilors.

“It really upsets me that this man cloaks himself in the memories of men who sacrificed themselves to put forward this racist trash,” Labour Coun Derek Forrest, who represents Leyland Central.

“He is abusing the good will of the armed forces for his own devious means. I urge anyone who has received this to treat it with the contempt it deserves.”

Ali Amla, of Preston Faith Forum, reported the anti-Islam pamphlets to the police.

“It's very derogatory, very anti-Muslim,” he said.

“It was demanding that Muslims should be compensating communities for crimes against British people.

“It says they are a non-violent, non-racist group, but the intentions are very worrying for a Muslim.”

Yet, Lancashire Police said they were unable to take any action.

“We understand that some people may find the content of the leaflet disturbing or offensive,” a police spokesman said.

“Lancashire Police takes the distribution of these leaflets very seriously and have previously investigated their content.

“An individual was charged and sent to crown court, however, after consideration, the court found that the content of the leaflets did not constitute an offence.

“As such no crime is being committed in the distribution of these leaflets.”

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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