THE United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which finished last in this month’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – gaining fewer votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party – has found a new far-right zealot to lead it: Richard Braine, above.
Like his predecessors, Braine is a barmy Brexit clown who thinks that the public distribution of the Koran should be “limited” because of its potential to “incite violence”. Note: significantly, no mention was made of the Bible in an interview he gave to Sky News.
His attack on Islam’s holy book drew a sharp response from the the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). A spokesman for the organisation said:
UKIP’s continued descent into even greater depths of bigotry is only matched by its growing irrelevance and obscurity. Virulent Islamophobia was not a successful tactic under the previous UKIP leadership, and will not be this time. Our nation knows better.
Braine told Sky News the UK should “look into” whether to ban people handing out the Koran in public. Asked whether he believed the distribution of the Koran in public should be outlawed, Braine said:
We need to look into whether it’s illegal to do so because we do have laws against incitement to violence, so we should look into that. I understand there’s something like a 100-year threshold where, if a work is more than 100 years old, it isn’t subject to incitement laws.
But I think that’s worth looking at because there’s no question that some people who commit violence are motivated by the scripture.
It’s important to analyse why people behave the way they do – if religions or cults are actually encouraging people to do bad things then we should be able to talk about that and look at it carefully and actually see if there’s a solution to stop people just answering the demands or the commands to go and be violent.
Braine is reported to have made similar comments about the Koran at a recent hustings event for UKIP members.
According to the Guardian, the software developer and photographer also claimed that British Islam has particular problems with bigamy and welfare abuse, and referred to the jailed anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson as a “political prisoner”.
The newspaper also reported that Braine branded Islam an “alien ideology” and suggested there were areas of the UK where “you’re simply not welcome” as a non-Islamic person.
A UKIP spokesman told Sky News it was neither the party nor Braine’s policy to ban the distribution of the Koran in public.
Braine replaced his political ally Gerard Batten as UKIP leader, whose term in charge ended shortly after the EU elections in which the party lost all its MEPs.
Batten attempted to stand as a candidate in the subsequent leadership contest but was barred by UKIP’s ruling body from seeking re-election.
As well as UKIP’s poor electoral performance, Batten’s spell as leader was also marked by a mass exodus of leading figures following his decision to employ Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) as an adviser.
Batten, who supported Braine’s candidacy, has himself described Islam as a “death cult” but repeatedly insisted that UKIP was “not anti-Muslim.”
Hat tip: BarrieJohn.