CAIRO - Anti-Muslim comments and jokes about destroying mosques and burning Muslims have led a member of a far-right British party to be suspended.
"We are shocked to learn about the views of Tony Nixon expressed on Facebook, which are not representative of United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), a party spokesman told Halifax Courier on Sunday, May 5."His membership has been suspended pending an urgent investigation.
We do not tolerate members with any links to BNP, EDL or other extremist parties, he said, referring to the British National Party and the English Defence League.
The party member has triggered a controversy by several statements against Muslims on his Facebook page.
On his page, numerous EDL sites and ones expressing strong anti-Muslim sentiments were listed Liked by the Ukip member.
There were also racist jokes about destroying mosques, burning Muslims or knocking over a Pakistani with a bus.
Comments on his page linked Ukip to other far-right parties as EDL and BNP.
One post said Ukip "is a patriotic party which wants us to get back our sovereignty".
Another added: "If you are wondering about the EDL I tell you that it is not a political party but a street movement which has no membership. Its hard work has greatly helped in the rise of Ukip."
But the party tried to distance itself from the controversy.
"We not condone racist or any other inappropriate comments and regard them as totally abhorrent and anyone else discovered acting in such an appalling way will be thrown out of the party," the party's spokesman said.
North Yorkshire Police said they were investigating the comments to see if any offenses have been committed.
"We are aware of the issue and officers are investigating to establish if any offences have been committed, a spokesman said.
It would not be appropriate to comment further until these inquiries are completed."
But Nixon's comments were seen as a reflection of the party's policy on Muslims.
"Tony Nixon is an example of some of the members of Ukip - not all of them - and the party needs to shed them, Simon Cressy, a researcher for the anti-racist pressure group Hope Not Hate, who discovered the postings, said.
"Until they get rid of people like Tony Nixon, we cannot take them seriously as a political party."
British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.7 million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 2005 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.
In Britain, far-right groups like Ukip, EDL and BNP have been playing the card of immigration to stoke sentiment against Muslims and immigrants.In November 2010, British police warned that the anti-Muslim demonstration by the EDL fuel extremism and harm social cohesion in Britain.