On June 4, European Muslims in 27 countries can take an action on obstacles challenging their integration process and play a role in countering the extreme right wing's danger in Europe through making well-versed choices on the European Parliamentary elections.
Seventy two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be representing the British electoral region in the European Parliament for the upcoming five years (2009-2014).
Leading Muslim Scholars, coming from diverse backgrounds and schools of thoughts, have urged British Muslims to "vote in the European elections, as xenophobic, extremist right wing parties have a very real chance of gaining national prominence by winning a seat in the European Parliament," in a statement that was issued on May 28.
After having a look at both sides' opinions, what do you think about the BNP and its policies towards Muslims in Europe? Will you vote for or against the BNP?
Although the scholars' statement did not refer literally to the British National Party (BNP) as one of the leading "Islamophobic, racist, and fascist parties in the UK," another statement that was issued by "Unite against Fascism and MCB" has made it clear.
It is worth mentioning that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, have urged British citizens not to vote for far-right BNP as a reaction to the rising anger over MPs' expenses in a joint statement that they declared on May 24, on behalf of the Church of England House of Bishops. They also mentioned that "the BNP fostered fear and division within communities, especially between people of different faiths or ethnic background."
In the context of IslamOnline.net (IOL) European Muslims Page's coverage to IOL, we have invited the BNP's press office and the MCB to a Live Debate on IOL seeking a healthy bilateral debate. Albeit the BNP couldn't make it to the Live Debate, they sent IOL an official rebuttal of the MCB/ British Muslims' accusations claimed above. On the other hand, Inayat Bunglawala, MCB's spokesman and an advisor on policy and research at ENGAGE, was the guest of an online session, entitled Will UK Muslims kick the BNP outside the European Parliament?, He replied to many IOL audience's questions on the far-right parties in Europe and the impact of their presence in the European Parliament on the integration process of Muslims in Europe.
We are presenting the BNP's statement here below and you can read Bunglawala's full Live Session by clicking here.
The BNP's Statement
Nationalists agree with the Muslim peoples of the world. For example, we have consistently condemned the west's attacks on Muslim counties such as Iraq and Afghanistan. We do not believe that our country should be trying to force Muslim countries to adopt western systems of democracy by force of arms. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims have been killed by the British and American governments. We believe that in this country, Islam should take issue with the main party's bloody policies in the Middle East, which the British National Party had nothing to do with. We see these wars as merely attempts to secure the Middle East oil and protect Israeli Interests.
We believe in keeping Britain an overwhelmingly Christian country, and do not believe Islam should become a dominating religion within our Land. Would any Muslim country in the world accept Christianity taking over as a dominating religion?. In many Muslim countries Christians are persecuted and murdered by Muslims for practicing their faith.
We believe the Muslim Council of Britain should put its own extremists in order before having the audacity to accuse the British National party of extremism for merely wishing to put the host Christian population first.
However we do recognize that British born Muslim extremists have been further radicalized due to British foreign policy in the Middle East and uncontrolled immigration from counties sending radicalized Muslim clerics to preach hate on our land.
BNP Press Office