In this essay I aim to look at the policies and principles of the political party Britain first and see if they have directly or indirectly led to the increase of islamaphobia in Britain, to do this I will be looking at their values and beliefs but also the part Christianity plays within the political party, can you really call yourself a Christian and be a member of Britain first? I will look into wether these contradict each other and wether the real problem in Britain today is to do with the British people who feel pushed out and sidelined,and scared regardless of wether they call themselves christians or not, they hold british beliefs and are scared of the rise of islam”The result, now recognised by journalists, politicians, intellectuals and other interested parties, is pervasive “Islamophobia,” a generalised fear of Islam and Muslims’ (Shryock, 2010) ‘The term “Islamophobia” could be reasonably applied to any setting in which people hate Muslims, or fear Islam’ (Shryock, 2010) ‘Refuting claims that it was racist, Islamophobic or both, the EDL mush- roomed into a social movement that was able to deploy mass mobilisation—or at least the threat of it—as its prime source of influence in opposing what it believed was the ongoing Islamification of Britain'(ALLEN, 2014).Britain first is a far-right wing party in the United Kingdom. The party was founded in 2011 by its leader Paul Golding and it deputy party leader Jayda Fransen.
Leaders Britain First leader Paul Golding first became involved in politics in 1999. As a Christian Paul founded the party in 2011. and it originally started with only three members. After six years as the leader of the party, the party grew and grew and now their membership numbers are in the millions. Paul Golding has stood for both parliament and mayor of London. (Britain First, 2011) In 2016 Paul was sent to prison after he confronted a hate preacher of Islam who recorded secretly saying “it’s was okay for Muslims to keep sex slaves. Jihadists reacted to this and were even sent to prison as they were planning to behead Paul, he has also received official death threats. He has allegedly ‘harassed’ a gang of Afghan child rapists and is currently awaiting trial in Ramsgate, Kent.
There are many times that he has put his own life at risk by confronting dangerous convicted terrorists and Islamic extremists, because of his strong Christian beliefs and love for his country.(Britain First, 2011)Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen was involved with the counter jihad struggle for numerous years before she joined Britain First. In, 2014 she was elected as the deputy leader of the party. She has previously stood for both parliamentary elections and Greater London Assembly.
She also is the press officer for the party and has been in many television documentaries about the party such as BBC’s documentary “We Want Our Country Back”. She is a devout Christian from a Catholic background. There are many times that she’s put her own life at risk by confronting dangerous terrorists and Islamists such as the hate preacher Anjem Choudary, the Islamic extremist. For numerous years she has had to endure police persecution and harassment. She has allegedly ‘harassed’ a gang of Afghan child rapists and is currently awaiting trial in Ramsgate, Kent. She is also awaiting trial in Northern Ireland for presenting an ‘anti-Islamic’ speech in Belfast.
She is currently the leader of the party in Northern Ireland.(Britain First, 2011)As a political party Britain first are very patriotic party and are not afraid of speaking out in public, they will fight and oppose numerous injustices often involving being exposed to the British Public though methods such as street marches. The party says “our policies are pro-British, our approach is no-nonsense and our principles are not open to compromise” (Britain First, 2011). This show that the party stands very strongly by their polices and principles and they are not open to negotiation, anyone who disagrees or is uncertain with any of their policies or principles would not fit in with the party and their extremist views.
The party also say “we love our people, our nation, our heritage and culture and will defend them at all times and no matter what odds we face”. This illustrates that the leader and the members of the party are very dedicated to the cause and because of this their behaviour can be perceived as threatening and intimidating. “We require only the most stern, dedicated, loyal, steadfast and incorruptible men and women to help us build a future for our nation” (Britain First, 2011) the party want to be a strong force to be reckoned with and only want dedicated members to represent them, as they want to be viewed the same as other political parties. The party says that they want a “strong, proud, free, sovereign and independent Britain where the British Citizens are able to live within a “healthy, moral and ethical society”.
(Britain first. 2011)Islamaphopia appears to be on the increase in Britain and we have to ask ourselves do political parties like Britain First increase this? over years we have seen people from the European Union and Pakistan or African countries migrate in to Britain, because of the way this is reported on the television and the media/ social media it’s caused the people of Britain to be scared, this “fear” is the basis of a phobia, it makes us panic about being “taken over” or of our identity as British to be taken away, this is not just in Britain but also in a lot of other European countries, for example the Americans want to stop Hispanic people coming in to their country, the German people are angry because Angela Merkel allowed so many immigrants in, people are scared and because of this they want to be able to “fight back” and being a member of Britain First can give people a platform to view their beliefs while also feeling protected because they are part of a bigger group, not just a individual.The party believe that the British people should come first over foreigners, asylum seekers or migrants. They say “We will not stand back and watch as our people are made second class citizens by leftwing-liberal policies and political correctness”.
(Britain first 2011). It can be argued that it is fundamentally unfair for British people to be deprived of things like a home, jobs etc and believe that British citizens should have the best chances in their own county and not to be made second class citizens, what they don’t take in to account though is that there are a great deal of immigrants in the country who would not be classed as British but play important roles in Britain, they pay their taxes, create jobs, work etc, surely you cannot take all immigrants and class them as the same! Britain First fails to see people as individuals because they are scared to, and this in turn leads to an increase in racial hatred.Britain has a reputation for being a generous, multicultural caring nation, our Christian beliefs and values play an important part in our government, politics, culture etc, however it could be argued that we are also a nation of people who are obsessed with being “politically correct” The party says that many British Christians are at the end of many brutal assaults. “Many Christians now face discrimination and persecution because of their beliefs in many areas such as employment, business, and adoption” (Britain First, 2011). This shows that many christians are being discriminated against for their faith, but this is a very hypocritical comment for the party because they discriminate and give verbal abuse to Islam but they don’t see this to be a issue, they only see religious discrimination an issue when it is happening to christians, this seems a very blinkered way of seeing things and very biased towards Christianity.
As a party they want to restore Christianity back to being the foundation of normal life within Britain. “The rapid growth of militant Islam is leading to the suppression of women, freedom of speech and racist attacks”. (Britain First, 2011) ‘Britain First states that the ‘fightback’ against the rapid growth of Islam in Britain (Islamification) needs to continue and that they alone will be the ones providing the ‘frontline resistance'(ALLEN, 2014).
This shows that Britain First and blaming Muslims for these attacks but no where on their website could I find any statistics to back this statement up, which asks the question is this true? or is it just something Britain First want us to believe. As a party they have a track record of “opposing Islamic militants and hate preachers and this fightback will continue. (Britain First, 2011)” This shows that the party have an issue with these people but there is nothing in their website about hate preachers or militants for other religions and opposing them, It seems that the party are only interested in these people if they are from an islamic faith.
One of the principles of Britain First is “Britain First is committed to preserving our ancestral ethnic and cultural heritage, traditions, customs and values. We oppose the colonisation of our homeland through immigration and support the maintenance of the indigenous British people as the demographic majority within our own homeland. Britain First is committed to maintaining and strengthening Christianity as the foundation of our society and culture. (Britain First, 2011)” ‘Britain First claims it is committed to the maintenance and strengthening of the British Union while simultaneously recognising and celebrating the individual identities and cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland'(ALLEN, 2014).T his shows that the party wants the country to help preserve our past, and want to support maintenance of the indigenous British people, the problem with this is that in the first two sentences it does not say anything about a British person being linked to a certain religion.
Only when it comes to the end does it say about Christianity and maintaining and strengthening the society and culture by it, this shows that they believe that it is only Christianity that can do this as a religion. One aspect that this does not address is what if a person is British and has no faith? the party aren’t going to be able to maintain and strengthen Christianity if people have no faith!Because of the recent mass migrations mainly from Syria,Afghanistan and Iraq, and the sometimes over dramatic scaremongering media coverage of “thousands of illegal immigrants arriving on our shores” it is possible to understand how people have felt that no one is listening to them and that they don’t have a voice, also the recent terrorist attacks on Britain have not helped Islam’s cause, it is possible therefore to understand why becoming a member or supporter of Britain first can be seen as an opportunity to fight back!Another Principle of Britain First is “Britain First stands opposed to all alien and destructive political or religious doctrines … Islam. Britain First is a movement of British patriotism and democracy”(Britain First, 2011) ‘Britain First also clearly identifies Islam as a destructive and alien doctrine and claims that as such it needs to be opposed'(ALLEN, 2014). This policy shows that the party opposed to religious doctrines but the other religion that is mentioned here is Islam this means that even though they have used the word religious doctrines they are actually only referring to one religion and singling Islam out, one can’t help but ask oneself are they actually discriminating against the religion or the colour of a persons skin?Britain First have extreme beliefs about Islam within Britain. As a party in United Kingdom they want to bring in a comprehensive ban of the religion “Islam”.
“This ban will include the prohibition of halal slaughter, sharia courts, religious publications (such as the Koran, Hadiths), the operation of mosques, madrasas and “cultural centres” and the public preaching and / or teaching of Islamic scriptures and doctrines” (Britain First, 2011). This shows how strongly the parties beliefs are against Islam as a religion, there is nothing on their website about a ban against any other religion this shows that the party main focus is Islam and demising if from the United Kingdom.One of the code of conducts of Britain first is “all Britain First groups, members, officials and supporters are prohibited from using profane, abusive or racist language and engaging in harassment” (Britain First, 2011).
This is an intersecting code of conduct as the the leader and deputy leader and currently awaiting trials for for allegedly ‘harassing’ a gang of Afghan child rapists and is currently awaiting trial in Ramsgate, Kent. This shows that the leaders of the party are going against there own code of conduct.In 2017 the Britain First’s twitter account along with it’s leaders where suspended because twitter introduced a new policy against hate speech. The social media company have been criticised many time for not doing enough about dealing with abuse and hate speech on the website, the social media company have vowed that they would do more in recent month. The deputy party leader was suspended because of the anti-Muslim videos that the posted that where later shared by Donald Trump which resulted in a diplomatic storm. There were three videos that where posted by the deputy leader Jayda Fransen where unverified anti-muslim videos were shown, the titles of the videos were “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”(Titcomb, 2017)In November 2017 the parties deputy leader Jayda Fransen tweeted anti-muslim videos that where later retweeted by the US president Donald Trump.
By now all the tweets have been removed an the account of Britain first and its leaders have been suspended. The retweeting of this tweet by Donald Trump lead to international condemnation this included the the British prime minister Theresa May. This incident lead to a threat between US and UK relations, when he tweeted back the the prime minister “Theresa, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!” (Titcomb, 2017).”When questioned, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president was unaware he was retweeting the leader of a hate group, but added that even if the videos were fake, “the threats are real.”(McLaughlin, 2017) This shows that the white house are not taking full responsibly for the retweets.In conclusion, having researched this topic a lot it seems clear that Britain first have directly an indirectly increased islamaphobia in Britain, their policies and practices contradict themselves and many times go directly against Christian beliefs such as loving your neighbour as much as you love yourself, Islam is a peaceful religion with good ethics and practice and it is extremely sad that the actions of organisations such as Britain first has made it difficult for many British born Muslims to live in peace and to be respected in Britain today.Britain always has been a diverse multicultural nation with strong Christian beliefs and ethics and Britain first go against all these important values, you cannot judge a person just by the colour of their skin or their religion, it could also be said though that the British government has let the British people down by not prioritising its own people and by doing this they have made people angry.
However as a Christian country there is no place for islamaphobia. Bibliography ALLEN, C. (2014). Britain First: The ‘Frontline Resistance’ to the Islamification of Britain. The Political Quarterly, 85(3), pp.354-361.
Britain First. (2011). Britain First. online Available at: https://www.britainfirst.org Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
McLaughlin, A. (2017). Mediaite: Twitter Suspends Britain First Leader Whose Graphic Anti-Muslim Videos Trump Retweeted.
Blog Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs, Chatham: Newstex. Available at: https://search.proquest.com/docview/1977784740?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=11528 Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.Shryock, A. (2010).
Islamophobia/Islamophilia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Titcomb, J. (2017).
Twitter bans Britain First leaders after anti-Muslim videos shared by Donald Trump. online The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/12/18/twitter-bans-britain-first-account-whose-anti-muslim-videos/ Accessed 15 Jan.