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Islam, a wicked, vicious faith: Griffin

The BNP leader is accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words intended to stir up racial hatred, reports Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 19:38 IST

The leader of the British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin, said Islam is a "wicked, vicious faith". Griffin, 46, is on trial accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words intended to stir up racial hatred.

He and party activist Mark Collett, 25, were both charged over comments they made in a series of speeches that were covertly recorded by a BBC reporter in 2004.

Griffin, a Cambridge graduate, who is married and has four children, went in the witness box to give evidence in his own defence at Leeds Crown Court. He said he genuinely believed that Islam was a "wicked, vicious faith", but added that this was not a criticism of Muslim people.

He said: "It's a dragon. It's something, which, unchecked, will bring misery and disaster to this country. When I criticise Islam, I criticise that religion and the culture it sets up, certainly not Muslims as a group and most definitely not Asians."

He said, "Although I believe that multiculturalism and mixing cultures up is a bad thing because it destroys different human cultures. I was brought to the conclusion that in many of the trouble spots around the world... in the vast majority there's a common denominator, not different cultures per se. The common denominator in these problems is Islam."

Griffin described Britain as "a disaster" because of its attempts to become a "multi-cultural paradise". He said that he admired people of all races. Far from being a racist, he said, he believed that white people convicted of a vicious murder should be hanged.

Griffin said: "I admire people of all races but I would prefer my children, my people, to keep themselves to themselves. It causes problems." He said his Sikh friends felt this too, adding: "They want their grandchildren to look like they do."

Griffin, of Llanerfyl, Powys, Wales, denies two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred and two alternative charges of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred. Collett, of Swithland Lane, Rothley, Leicestershire, denies four charges of the first offence and four of the latter.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 19:38 IST