Faith Communities Oppose Fascism

03 May 2007

Muslim and Jewish leaders have called on voters to stop the BNP in Yorkshire and other target areas. Their move follows the Archbishop of York’s advert on May 1st warning about the threat posed by politics of hate.

Faith community leaders are calling for a vote to stop the British National Party (BNP) this Thursday. BNP leader Nick Griffin stated on a radio interview last week that Bradford, Sandwell and outer Essex were target areas for the BNP.

On Tuesday, Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu placed an advert in the York press calling for a vote against division and hatred.

His advert read; `…Not voting creates a political vacuum, leaving the way open to unrepresentative politicans and parties to get their way. There are those seeking your vote whose actions betray the lives of those who fought for freedom. Jesus warned us to be wary of wolves who come in sheep’s clothing. They come with honeycombed words, promising a New England, and a land of milk and honey. In reality they offer us a diet of bile and discord, a litany of hopelessness and policies which stoke the ashes of Cliffords tower.

If apathy becomes the real winner on Thursday night, then those who seek to divide us will be elected, hiding under apathy’s skirt. My hope is that as you cast your vote on Thursday you do so with your eyes wide open so that our city does not sleepwalk into a wall of hate.”

Other faith communities have called for a vote against fascism:

Dr. Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain has worked with anti-fascists to distribute leaflets highlighting the Islamophobia of the BNP, and the MCB has called for a vote against fascism in Friday prayers.

Dr. Abdul Bari said, `All those who value democracy must use their votes to stop fascism making gains in Bradford, Yorkshire, and across the country. The Muslim community is an integral part of British society – fascism is not. We believe that it is both a civic and Islamic duty for Muslims to use their votes, to defend democracy and to oppose hatred. We call on all Muslims, and fellow Britons everywhere, to use their vote on May 3rd.”

Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, of the Jewish Council of Racial Equality (JCORE) said:

“The BNP claims to be a legitimate political party however its leader has been convicted for inciting racial hatred after denying the Holocaust. The Jewish tradition teaches that every human matters, every vote counts and evil can only flourish when good people do nothing. We call on the entire community to vote against hatred and fascism this Thursday.”


Notes to Editors:
Archbishop John Sentamu’s comments are reported in the York Press on May 1st as follows: