LEADER OF BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY (BNP)
Date: 10 Nov 2006
Courtesy, The Times, London. Nov 8, 2006.
BNP leader attacks Koran in court
BY ANDREW NORFOLK
Nick Griffin quotes passages to support his claim that Muslims are exhorted to conquer the world
The leader of the British National Party sought yesterday to justify his view that Islam is a “wicked, vicious faith”.
Nick Griffin, the BNP chairman, was giving evidence in a trial at which he is accused of attempting to stir up racial hatred in a speech that he made to party supporters.
His speech, which was filmed by an undercover journalist, included the claim that Asians were raping white girls as part of a Muslim plot to conquer Britain. Mr Griffin, 47, told a jury at Leeds Crown Court that his condemnation had been directed not at Asians in general, but at Islam and the criminal activities of its followers.
The court has been told that, although the law prohibits the incitement of racial hatred, the incitement of religious hatred is not a criminal offence.
Questioned by Timothy King, QC, for the defence, Mr Griffin said that he had been trying to explain to his audience the distinction between different groups of Asians.
The grooming, drugging and raping of more than 60 white schoolgirls by young Asian men in Keighley, West Yorkshire, the venue for his 2004 speech, had not been the work of Sikhs or Hindus, he said. “I was trying to explain that the common denominator [of the rapists] is not their Asian ethnicity, it’s the fact that they are Muslims,” he said.
Mr Griffin said that he had formed his views on Islam after studying the religion for several years. He said that, until the late 1990s, “the party, myself to a certain extent, could be described as racist”, but this was no longer the case. From 1999 onwards he had read books and articles about Islam, finally buying a copy of the Koran.
Mr Griffin told the jury that the Koran “gives a very low status to women and an extremely low status to unbelievers”, which coloured Muslim attitudes towards white women.
He said it was also “the theme of Muhammad’s teachings . . . that Islam is destined to, and must, conquer the entire world and that all good Muslims have a duty to help that to happen”.
“This is not a racial thing, it’s not an Asian thing, it’s a cultural and religious thing,” he said. The message of his speech had been that “if people don’t get involved politically, then the problem is going to get worse”.
Mr Griffin said that he had read newspaper articles which reported that “on present trends, the native white community will become a minority in this country some time between 2060 and 2100”.
Until recently, the Establishment mantra had been that the enrichment brought to communities by multiculturalism was a “heaven on earth”. The truth, he said, was that Britain had become “a multiracial hell-hole”.
Mr Griffin, who said that he had a Cambridge degree in history and law, was asked by Mr King to point out verses from the Koran that supported his stance on Islam and its aims.
The BNP leader selected passages that, he said, were used by Islamists to justify terrorist attacks — “Make ready whatever you can to terrify the enemies of Allah” — and the barbaric treatment of nonbelievers. “The casual contempt, ranging to hatred, that’s displayed to non-Muslims by Muslims in this country is rooted in the loathing and contempt for unbelievers that is in their good book,” he said.
The Koran, Mr Griffin said, also gave Muslims a reason to reject democracy, by telling them not to obey unbelievers, and to treat women as possessions: “Your women are tillage for you, so get to your tillage whenever you like.” The most important difference between Islam and Christianity, he said, was that it was possible to distinguish between fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist Christians.
The term Islamic fundamentalist was inappropriate because “Muslims have never moved away from a literal interpretation of the Koran”. He added: “The prosecution are trying to say that, when I criticise Islam, it’s just a cover for criticising Asians. Well, it’s not.”
The case, a retrial, continues.
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BNP leader cleared of race hate charges
BNP leaders: Mark Collett and Nick Griffin have been cleared of stirring up racial hatred
- Search: Nick Griffin and Mark Collett
BNP leader Nick Griffin has been cleared of race hate charges.
The 47-year-old Cambridge graduate was found not guilty at Leeds Crown Court of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred during a speech he made in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in 2004 which was filmed by an undercover BBC reporter.
Griffin, of Llanerfyl, Powys, Wales, denied one count of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and an alternative count of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.
The BNP's head of publicity Mark Collett, 26, of Rothley, Leicestershire, was also cleared of similar charges.
He denied two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and two alternative counts of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred. These charges also relate to speeches he made in Keighley.
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They were both cleared a day after the jury retired to consider its verdicts.
Griffin smiled and nodded as the foreman of the jury of seven women and five men read out the not guilty verdict.
In the public gallery, which was packed with his supporters, his wife Jackie burst into tears, as did some of his daughters, while there were cheers from BNP supporters.
The jury took about five hours to come to its verdicts.
Griffin and Collett emerged from court holding their hands above their heads to the cheers of around 200 supporters who were gathered behind crash barriers and surrounded by dozens of police.
As a small but loud group of anti-racist protesters shouted at him from 20 yards away, the BNP leader thanked his supporters and criticised both the Government and the BBC for their roles in his prosecution.
Mr Collett said: "The BBC have abused their position. They are a politically correct, politically biased organisation which has wasted taxpayers' money to bring two people in a legal democratic peaceful political party to court over speaking nothing more than the truth.''
Mr Griffin said the decision by "12 ordinary, decent commonsense men and women'' to find the pair not guilty on all charges showed the "huge gulf between us, the ordinary people and our masters'', the Crown Prosecution Service, the BBC and the Attorney General.
"They believed they could get a jury to convict over what we say in private meetings but the jury said no.''
He accused the authorities of wasting almost a million pounds in an attempt to convict them for "telling the truth''.