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September 20, 2008
Drugs smear case shows weakness of UK laws
The Muslim News has criticised the weakness of recently passed British laws on religious incitement following the failure to prosecute the BNP over a leaflet which blames Muslims for the heroin trade.
“It just shows that incitement to religious hatred legislation is inadequate and the BNP members use the loophole to target Muslims.” said The Muslim News Editor, Ahmed J Versi.
“If the leaflets were targeted at other ethnic communities like the Jews and Black people then the perpetrators would have been charged for incitement. Muslims, in contrast, are free for all,” Versi said. “Such incitement language results in attacks against Muslims and mosques as the leaflets blame all Muslims for drug peddling.”
His criticism comes as Muslim police officers were demanding an explanation as to why the police had not provided adequate advice to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which led to no action being taken over a leaflet, which was distributed by the BNP members since June to hundreds of addresses in parts of Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. It smears Muslims as being “almost exclusively responsible” for the heroin trade 95% of which it says comes from the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. It also suggested “naming and shaming” Muslims to tackle the problem. The National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) said the CPS had effectively allowed the people in question to continue distributing the material.
In a statement to The Muslim News Deputy Chief Constable for Lancashire Constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “Whilst we understand that this advice is based on established case law, we roundly condemn the contents of these leaflets and those distributing them” Cunningham said it was “inflammatory in nature” and that the police were “obviously concerned that their distribution in Lancashire could damage community cohesion.”
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