How the BNP stokes fear and hatred

How the BNP stokes fear and hatred December 9, 2008

The July 2005 terrorist bombings in London handed the BNP a propaganda coup, which they exploited to maximum effect. In the 2006 election, the BNP polled over 238,000 votes, compared with just 3000 votes in 2000. The BNP is now the most successful fascist party in British history.

So a new analysis of the BNP’s portrayal of Muslims in the aftermath of the bombing is acutely relevant. Two psychologists from Surrey University have analysed articles written by prominent members of the BNP in the aftermath of the attacks, and pulled out the common themes. BPS Research Digest reports:

Quoting extracts from the BNP articles, Finlay and Wood say the arguments resemble a conspiracy theory and they identify the use of two tools of persuasion in relation to Muslims in Britain: the “accentuation effect”, which is the attempt to portray outgroups as homogeneous and distinct from ingroups; and “essentialism”, which is the idea that members of a given group all share important, essential qualities.

In other words, muslims are all the same, and they are different from us. It’s classic out-group posturing, appealing to deep-rooted instincts from our tribal past.

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