Friday, 30 March 2012

Questions to ask the Far Right

BFTF often gets frustrated when listening to people interview the EDL or the BNP because they don't ask the really tough questions that would challenge their mindset. So, BFTF thought it might be helpful to put some "starters for 10" in a short blog post to help prospective interviewers along. .

The BNP and EDL are very different beasts, so questions are broken down for each group :

Questions for the BNP
1) Should British born black sportsmen and women be banned from national teams?
2) Should British born black people be repatriated to their countries of ancestry?
3) Why do veterans organisations and churches refuse to work with the BNP?
4) Will the BNP work to ensure that the Poppy Appeal supports those who fought for the UK from the commonwealth countries?

Questions for the EDL
1) Can the EDL name any Muslims who have contributed significantly to the UK?
2) Can the EDL name any Muslim groups who are active in projects that work for the common good of the whole society?
2) Why do veterans organisations and churches refuse to work with the EDL?

NB: Readers may also be interested in this post on framing a debate

NB: And the Muslim News Awards Page might be of interest too.

Notes from a Police Public Meeting regarding the EDL March in Nottingham in November 2009

The message from the Police:
a) Nottinghamshire Police have a duty to facilitate a peaceful protest.
b) The Police will support and protect all local communities, while facilitating the peaceful protest.
c) Notingham will be open as usual. Visitors, shoppers and workers will be allowed to go about their business without fear or threat.
d) The Police will engage with any local communities and businesses to provide reassurance and understand their concerns.
e) The Police will operate a substantial and visible policing operation to ensure a peaceful assembly.
f) Criminal and anti-social behaviour on the day will be dealt with quickly and appropriately.Any offenders will be identified and prosecuted .
g) The Police can't do this alone -they need the help of the community.

"As in any community, a significant concern is that young people may get caught up in a confrontation. As a number of people at the meeting pointed out, this only plays into the hands of the EDL by giving them publicity and portraying the Muslim community in a bad light."

IMPORTANT : What advice the community can give to young people:
a) Give guidance and support and re-affirm the message of obligation to promote peace and avoid confrontation.
b) Encourage young people to have a dignified approach and to provide a positive image of their beliefs, community and culture.
c) Our Imans can talk about this issue at Friday and Eid prayers.

Background on the EDL
a) Formed in response to the "Call to submission" / "Al Muhajiroun" protest against returning soldiers in Luton (Mar 09)
b) Describe themselves as being non-racist, non-political, peaceful organisation who are protesting against extremist/militant Islam.
c) They have attracted a number of right wing and football "hooligans"
d) Strongly deny any link to the BNP (and the BNP strongly deny any link to the EDL). BNP not present at any previous EDL assembly.
e) The EDL have not targeted places of worship in previous assemblies
f) There have been 9 EDL rallies so far,
g) After Birmingham the Police adopted a police of communicating with and reassuring the community. This has resulted in much reduced levels of arrests.
h) Banning the EDL is a matter for government, banning marches is an option for the Police, banning assembly can only be done in special circumstances

BFTF noted that, whilst many masjids had been contacted about the Public meting, only a few had actually bothered turning up

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