BNP men held over 'racist leaflet'

Pamphlet claims Muslims condone paedophilia and 'native Brits' face violence
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Twelve British National Party activists have been arrested in Liverpool on suspicion of handing out racist leaflets claiming that "our people" are experiencing an "epidemic of racist violence, sexual exploitation and murder" by Muslims.

The leaflet alleges the "average racist killer" is 40 times more likely to be from an ethnic minority than "a native Brit"; the Muslim community condones paedophilia; and the English are "relentlessly discriminated against by an institutionally hostile ruling class".

One passage reads: "Wherever there are large numbers of young Muslim men, groups team up to lure girls – often as young as 12 or 13 – into a nightmare world of sexual abuse, rape, beatings, drug addiction and prostitution."

The 12 men, aged from 19 to 70 and from Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, were arrested in the city centre at 12.50pm on Saturday.

The leaflet, "Racism Cuts Both Ways", is also available on the BNP's website. Anti-racism campaigners are preparing to submit a UK-wide complaint to the Metropolitan Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Colin Matthews of Merseyside Police said the arrests were made following the "distribution of leaflets ... which officers believe to contain racist content".

He added: "Merseyside Police condemns racism and will take prompt action to support all our communities."

West Mercia Police, which covers Worcester, where the leaflet apparently originated, are liaising with the Merseyside force.

The BNP intends to capitalise on the arrests. Simon Darby, a party spokesman, said it planned a "huge demonstration" in Liverpool. "It's a mystery, you tell me what you think is criminal or inciting about it," he said. "I don't think Merseyside Police have any idea what they have done. It's a knee-jerk reaction."

Asked if the party stood by the leaflet, Mr Darby said: "Obviously we do otherwise we wouldn't have put it out."

In the pamphlet, the BNP leader Nick Griffin writes: "The vast majority of the real racism that scars Britain involves white victims from the indigenous community ... being white makes you a target, being white means you are guilty. Our people are the silent victims of an epidemic of racist violence, sexual exploitation and murder."

The leaflet also features a photo-montage of white faces which it says are "the forgotten victims of anti-white racism" and asks "Who is next?" Included is Sharon Beshenivsky, a PC shot dead during a robbery by a Somalian man, Yusuf Jamma. It has never been suggested this was anything other than an criminal's attempt to evade arrest. The 12 activists were released on bail. A list of BNP members, including several police officers and public servants, was recently leaked.