Article @ Morning Star, published 20 June 2014
Anti-racist campaign Hope not Hate exposed yesterday the thugs at the forefront of a fascist street gang targeting Muslim communities.
Christian fundamentalist far-right organisation Britain First is on the march, calling for a violent uprising against non-white groups.
“It believes it’s involved in a holy war,” said Hope not Hate director of research Matthew Collins.
The organisation has now published a thorough report on the activities and strategies of Britain First after following its development closely in the last few years.
Mr Collins told the Star that Hope not Hate wanted to “warn people that this group has different aims, different goals, different strategies” from previous far-right organisations such as the British National Party or the English Defence League.
“We are looking at a group that is drilled, uniformed and, more worryingly, is doing things like ‘mosque invasions’,” he added.
The group exposed the leadership of Britain First as a collection of violent individuals, most of which have police records for serious offences.
Mr Collins, a reformed militant of the National Front, said that Britain First was particularly dangerous because it had been successful at co-opting what he calls the “social-moral panic.”
Its propaganda is based on a lethal combination of Islamophobic slurs and anti-immigration policies.
It has been keen on capitalising from general feelings of disappointment with mainstream politicians, much like Euro-sceptic Ukip has done.
From animal abuse to “British values,” Britain First has tweaked its political agenda according to currently popular national sentiment.
Hope not Hate expects its report on the far-right group to be a “wake-up call” to politicians and individuals alike.
“So that people can extend a hand to the Muslim community,” Mr Collins said.
As reported this Wednesday by the Star, Britain First has been staging regular incursions into Muslim communities, pushing people around and provoking people into physical confrontation.
Before the so-called “mosque invasions” in Bradford, Glasgow and Luton, the proto-fascist group had already staged “Christian Patrols” in Tower Hamlets, promoting racial and religious hatred.
Speaking to the Star, Luton’s Muslim community leader Mohammad Shafait described how after Britain First’s incursions people started fearing spiralling bloodshed.
“Either they are going to lose their lives or he is going to lose his life,” said Mr Shafait of Britain First chairman Paul Golding’s storming of local mosques during prayers: “That’s what they are frightened of.”
Hope not Hate and Mr Collins also urged the government to take action.
“The police or whoever needs to put an Asbo on Britain First because wherever it goes it’s sole objective is to wind up fear,” concluded Mr Collins.
Anti-abortionist, radical evangelical Calvinist minister. Former member and main fundraiser of the BNP. Hope Not Hate call him “the most powerful
identity on the far right” today.
Nick Griffin’s one-time protege and former editor of BNP youth magazine Excalibur. Elected as Sevenoaks councillor in 2009. He’s been in fights with members of other far-right groups and even from his own organisation.
One-time leading member of the EDL. Owes his “street-cred” to being shot in the crotch during a fight in Sheffield.
Only publicly recognisable female member. Will “suit-up” in uniform.