Shirin Aguiar-Holloway reports on Abdel Sharif Gawad, the BNP candidate in Bradford, whose candidacy has produced dissent within the fascists’ own ranks. Gawad is of Armenian heritage, and his grandfather was a Muslim convert to Christianity.
Paul Maszarof, local TUC activist, said: “They [the BNP] think it’s a good old laugh, ‘Let’s get an Islamic-sounding name and see if we can whip things up.’ It can only be to cause trouble and provoke a response.”
Gerry Gable, head of the anti-fascist monitoring organisation Searchlight, said: “The Bradford organiser has actually resigned over this and some of the activists are refusing to work with this guy. By putting him up, the BNP are trying to pretend they are not really racist. It’s clearly a wind-up to the Muslim community.”
Mr Maszarof added: “They’re going through a different organiser each week. Dozens of their activists are refusing to lift their finger. It’s a fairly spectacular own goal.”
At least one BNP member is happy with Nick Griffin’s strategy: “Of course some members are going to be upset at this latest move, but they have to realise that the BNP would have never got in unless they did change (and thank God for that), and Nick seems to be changing all the right things, while leaving the important things such as the absolute rejection of islam as anything other than a ‘vile, wicked cult’ in place. And good for him, now we all have a chance at seeing the next century out in a free country, or at least our children do.”