BNP activist accused of inciting hatred against Muslims

BNP heroin leaflet

A British National Party activist delivered leaflets of “hate speech” intended to stir up religious hatred of Muslims, a court heard today.

Anthony Bamber, 54, printed and then distributed documents entitled The Heroin Trade which allegedly claimed followers of Islam were responsible for the sale of the drug on Britain’s streets. It said the trade was a “crime against humanity” and demanded that Muslims “apologise and pay compensation” for the flow of heroin from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Preston Crown Court was told Bamber, of Preston, Lancashire, targeted various people across the North West in his leaflet drops between March and November 2008, including a school in Sedbergh, Cumbria, two barristers in Manchester, and addresses in Harrogate.

David Perry QC, prosecuting, said: “The defendant distributed leaflets and letters by hand or by post which were threatening and he did so with the intention of creating or stirring up religious hatred, and the religion he directed the hatred towards was Islam.

“This case is about hate speech. That is speech designed to arouse hatred against members of a social group identified by a particular characteristic. In this case the social group is Muslims and the characteristic they share is religion, namely Islam.

“The objective of the letters and leaflets, the prosecution say, was to provoke hatred of Islam. The hatred was not directed just at the concept but at the followers of Islam – Muslims.”

Yorkshire Post, 14 June 2010

See also BBC News, 14 June 2010