Why is the BNP being legitimised?

Mayor“The problem we have at present is that not only is the rise of a fascist party not being given adequate attention, but its agenda is being capitulated to and fed from the mainstream.

“The daily diet of attacks on Muslims based on lurid headlines and without thought to the impact on community relations is dangerous and counterproductive and feeds the BNP. The stigmatisation of legitimate political engagement by Muslims and their community organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain, the hysterical debate on the veil, and so on, are doing the BNP’s work for them. Muslims are being singled out for attack.

“The fascist right sees the demonisation of Muslims as one of its chief weapons in sowing the seeds of division. Hatred and fear of Muslims is key to the BNP’s rhetoric, and its purpose is not to have a sensitive debate about multiculturalism in modern Britain but to whip up racism and discrimination.

“We have seen the notion of ‘Islamofascism’ invented, whilst mainstream Muslim organisations are openly equated with the fascists. On BBC News on January 29, for instance, Mark Easton reported a dossier on extremism and said: ‘Tonight the author of the report confirmed to me that they are likening the Muslim Council and the British National party’.”

Ken Livingstone in the Guardian, 16 February 2007