The website, Vice, has published an article by Simon Childs on a recent BNP protest outside BBC Broadcasting House erroneously conflating the Jimmy Savile scandal with ‘fighting grooming gangs’.
Childs comments on “how certain organisations with long-held grudges against the BBC have hijacked the situation to grind axes that have little to do with paedophilia.”
The article carries a number of photos of the protesters carrying placards with the words ‘protect children: fight grooming gangs’ on them.
Childs writes that the protesters, “spent Friday afternoon outside Broadcasting House in the West End holding their placards up to protest against... well I wasn't sure, exactly. They seemed to be trying to make some kind of connection between the BBC and the "Muslim grooming gangs" that, according to many right-wing groups in the UK, have been active in the North of England and Scotland for years now.
“A lot of them were – shockingly – very cagey around the media. But they all agreed that it’s not weird to use the exposure of a large paedophile ring consisting of white people to raise the issue of Muslim paedophile grooming gangs. Because, no matter what race or religion, all paedophiles should be subject to the same disgust. Quite right, guys. With that in mind, it's a good thing that the font on your placards in no way promotes any kind of racist agenda.”
Childs offers a helpful transcript of conversations he had with two of the protesters. The first is with Chris, a 42 year-old lorry driver:
VICE: What’s brought you out here today?
It’s my duty as a nationalist, mate. The BBC have got a pretty entrenched problem here. The whole BBC is a big cover up at the moment.
What’s nationalism got to do with being against paedophilia?
We’ve got to stand up against these grooming gangs. There’s a problem with the Islamic people targeting Christian children and not their own. Alright, you’ve got British paedophiles – I can’t deny that – but you haven’t got nine or ten British people in a gang doing it.
What? There are far more examples of white paedophile gangs in Britain than Muslim ones.
There’s no evidence of that.
I'm pretty sure that there is.
The responses of the second protestor, name withheld, to Childs’ questions:
VICE: What are your thoughts around all this?
Paedophilia is part of Muslim culture. They all vote Labour. The Labour Party is Marxist and they’re involved with this Marxist mob here.
Wait, the BBC is Marxist?
It's full of them. It's been riddled with Marxists since its inception.
Childs challenges this assertion, then asking the protester, “Do you think the BBC’s Marxism manifests itself in its programming?” to which the protester responds:
"Well, just look what happened when they let Nick Griffin on Question Time if you want an answer to that. They selected the audience – full of Marxists. And the panel was absolutely full of them.
Baroness Warsi is a Marxist?
No, she’s a Muslim. Her father is an immigrant. He’s got nothing to offer this country. It’s take, take, take.
That’s funny, because I read he started a successful company that employs a bunch of British people. It's funny what you can choose to ignore.
Childs concludes with, “after overhearing the two exchanges you just read, no one else there would talk to me. I just thought you guys would appreciate an update on what battles the British National Party are fighting these days.
“Find it funny how deluded and ignorant the BNP are?”
Though parts of Childs’ exchanges with the BNP protestors are entertaining, such delusion is far more serious when one considers the number of protests held by the far-right in recent months against what they describe as ‘Muslim’ grooming. The protests are not divorced from the media’s reporting on cases of sex grooming gangs in a way that scapegoats Islam and Muslim communities on an issue that cuts across race, religion and culture. Such protests have also taken on a more violent and threatening dimension. For example, following the commencement of a trial involving a gang in Rochdale, Asian businesses were targeted in the city. And after the conviction of nine men who were on trial, Muslim groups reported a surge in abusive phonecalls and emails. Most recently, a man from Carlisle was sentenced for posting comments on his Facebook page encouraging people to petrol bomb an Indian takeaway because its owner was implicated in a sex abuse scandal.
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