You can take the man out of the BNP, but you can’t take the BNP out of the man

Leicestershire County Councillor Graham Partner who was formerly a member of the BNP, but quit to stand as an independent, is being investigated for distributing a leaflet criticising Muslims.

The leaflet claimed “narrative of victimhood comes easily to followers of Islam” and accused “Muslim hard-liners” of being “by far the greatest persecutors of other faiths.”¬†Two county councillors and two parish councillors lodged a complaint, and the county council’s standards board is now investigating.

Partner claims the complaints are “politically motivated” and insists that the piece was actually written by Daily Express columnist Leo McKinstry. If true, it would be telling that nobody could tell the difference between the ramblings of a fascist and the output from a “mainstream” newspaper.

Anybody who has had the misfortune of witnessing any of the online exchanges between local BNPers and EDL members will realise that this is relatively tame. This isn’t to suggest it’s any good. Deliberately blurring the distinction between Islamic extremists and Islam as a whole is a recurring theme in the statements of far-right groups across Europe. By positing a homogeneous mass of reactionary (homophobic, sexist, terrorist) Muslims as a threat, the far-right can then present itself as “progressive” while pushing through a regressive agenda.

It goes without saying that the very real Muslim “hard-liners” that Partner claims to be concerned about will only be strengthened if Muslims as a whole perceive themselves to be a target.

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