Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: The Hate You Give – British Politicians Must be Stopped from Using Reli gion to Incite Sectarian Hatred and Violence

‘The irresponsibility in this day and age, to exploit religious differences where none exist is both negligent and dangerous’ famously wrote the husband of a British Human Rights Barrister a couple of years ago.

To British politicians, how dare you use your megaphone to create religious differences when knowing full well we live in a time when the responsible thing is not to stir such hatreds?

I speak of course of the recent speeches and tweets from Naz Shah MP, and Lord Nazir Ahmed, which were as outrageous as the ones of the Prime Minister of Pakistan using words like ‘Nazi’ ‘Racist’ ‘fascist’ to describe Indians and Hindus. Incitement to hate and incitement to violence are crimes of course, rightly the boundary to the right to free speech.

It is a crass attempt by these politicians to radicalise young people in Britain. And, right on cue, arrests are made for violence outside the Indian High Commission by those riled up and incited. It is why our British schools have posters explaining fundamental British values. These are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

In virtually all major secular liberal democracies religion and state are kept separate – either constitutionally or factually. This is because adding religion to politics in a heterogeneous society leads inevitably to violence and the West has learnt this from centuries of sectarian violence themselves, whether Protestant/Catholic or Christian/Muslim or Anti-Semitic. Now a new breed of British politician seeks to bring it back.

Ironically, the person they are targeting the PM of India, at the very same time was sending out a unifying message through his Middle East trip. There are politicians who seek by their actions and words to unify, and those who flourish through division. Journalists who continue to use the term ‘Hindu Nationalist’ right wing Government of India do so as they know the Nazi undertones. Images of the Indian PM in the Middle East bear hugging leaders of the staunchest of Islamic nations and being given their highest honours directly embarrasses poor shallow lazy journalism.

The BBC has noted false stories are fuelling incitement to violence. The BBC note on https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c20106wd as ‘fake’ claims of ‘genocide’ in Kashmir, spread by ‘pro-jihadist’ accounts.

The terms ‘genocide’ is then used by the Pakistan PM in his Tweets and British politicians such as Naz Shah MP and Lord Ahmed the disgraced British Pakistani Peer on trial for paedophile claims from his time in Rochdale.

British politicians spreading jihad, hate, should be expelled from their Party and our Parliament. Complaints procedures facilitate this. The excuse ‘nothing will happen if we complain’ and ‘someone influential should do it’ are two of the weakest I have heard from those targeted by this hatred. Evil flourishes, when good people stay silent. Readers of this campaigning paper have the duty to stand.

It is the responsibility of all of us to stand up to this hatred and raise the issue. You can email standardscommissioner with your complaint wherever you see a Parliamentarian inciting hatred.

Alpesh Patel

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