The Hendon & Finchley Times has reported that racist leaflets promoting the far-right British National Party have been distributed in Burnt Oak and Colindale in north London.
The flyers contrast a scene from 1950s Britain with three women in Islamic veils. Under the 1950s picture of an all-white street party the leaflet states: “… this is the way London used to be… If you would like London to be like this again, then support the British National Party.”
The paper states that the likely source of the flyers is the BNP presence in Harrow, where the fascists stood a candidate in a council by-election in December. Their candidate, Howard Studley, received 56 votes and finished last.
As Henry Grunwald of the Board of Deputies pointed out, the BNP’s aim in contesting that election was to win support within the Jewish community on an anti-Muslim programme, and their leafleting in Barnet may well have the same objective.
The Hendon & Finchley Times quotes Shakil Ahmed, of the Hendon Mosque, as saying that relationships between different communities in Barnet are good, but that there are always concerns about such views spreading.
He told the paper: “We don’t know what affect this is going to have. The worry in view of the nature of the flyer is that the hatred is going to be targeted at Muslim women on the streets dressing in this particular way. I don’t think we’ve had that many incidents in Barnet, but I’ve heard of things in Brent, where women in headscarves have been attacked for nothing. That’s not far away, so it is a concern.”
Barnet councillors have said that they will investigate whether the BNP flyers breach anti-racism laws.