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Saturday, 24 April 2010

BNP under fire in Redbridge over anti-Islamic leaflet

A RABBI has branded an election leaflet put out by the British National Party as "blatantly Islamaphobic".

The leaflets have been sent to Jewish voters showing people dressed in Islamic clothing performing Nazi salutes and holding banners bearing anti-Semitic claims such as "God Bless Hitler".

Dr Mohammed Fahim, Imam of South Woodford Mosque, Mulberry Way, said: "What they are putting in their leaflets they are just making up to gain votes.

"An average person with average intelligence would recognise it as fictional."

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims and the Ilford Muslim Community Centre, said: "There are issues they should be tackling, not turning a community against another community."

Rabbi David Hulbert, of Bet Tikvah Synagogue, Newbury Park, and a member of the borough's Three Faiths Forum, which is a coalition between Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, said: "It's blatantly Islamaphobic.
"I really don't think they will be picking up many votes from the Jewish community here."

Gerry Gable, joint co-ordinator of Redbridge and Epping Forest Together Now and publisher of the anti-racism magazine Spotlight, urged anyone who receives a leaflet to hand it over to the police.

He said: "It's intended to cause trouble between the two communities.

"I think they are going to have a bit of a job around here."

BNP Cllr Julian Leppert, who is hoping to regain his council seat for Hainault and is also standing as an MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said the images on the leaflet were designed to be attention grabbing.

He said: "We're using this election to bury some of the myths about the British National Party.

"If you read the Jewish press, they are still banging on about the same old rubbish, saying we're Nazis.

"Some of those images on the front are to remind people of a few home truths.

"They're all pictures taken from genuine news stories."

A police spokesman said: "It is the policy of the Metropolitan Police Service not to comment on party political literature. If it is alleged that any party has transgressed the law, then any allegation will be investigated at that time.

Illford Recorder