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On the day before two British National Party (BNP) members take their seats in the European Parliament following last month's election victory, a London-based think tank has published a report showing the party's natural affinity with Nazi ideology.
Published Tuesday by the Center for Social Cohesion (CSC), a nonpartisan think tank that studies issues related to community cohesion in the UK, the 63-page report looks into the online activities of the far-Right party. It concludes that the BNP espouses extreme racist views, with material found on BNP-supported YouTube accounts, blogs and Internet forums that contravenes the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006.
Entitled "The BNP and the Online Fascist Network," the study reveals that BNP members, supporters and online activists hold a significant ideological affinity with key tenets of neo-Nazi ideology and extreme racist views. This includes support for violence, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and an admiration of the Third Reich.
"The report shows that the BNP is a party dedicated to promoting racism, and continues to attract and empower adherents to neo-Nazi ideology, whose supporters include admirers of Hitler," said report author Edmund Standing.
"This report shows that the BNP continues to promote an ideology centered on race and racism. It is a socially divisive organization that is attempting to rebrand as a conventional political party in order to gain the legitimacy that some European far-Right parties have managed to achieve in recent years," Standing added.
Blogs run by members and self-professed supporters of the BNP continue to host and link to material that is pro-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic, according to the report. The BNP also continues to sell books produced by neo-Nazi publishing houses on its Web site.
"The blogs and forums run by BNP members and supporters show that the dividing line between the BNP's 'white nationalism' and openly pro-Nazi sentiment is often very thin. In a number of examples, that barrier is nonexistent," said Standing.
The report looks in fine detail at the BNP's ideology and activities. It shows that the official BNP YouTube account - as well as the accounts of the party's Thurrock (southeast England) and Burnley (northwest England) branches, among others - show close links with neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activists and organizations.
It quotes a member of the Covert Tactics blog, strongly linked to the BNP, who refers to Jews as "greedy subhuman scum," expresses admiration for Hitler and on a number of occasions has denied or trivialized the Holocaust.
The BNP is also guilty of Holocaust denial, according to the study.
The study shows how the head of the BNP legal team, Lee Barnes, supports the National Front, a far-Right, neo-Nazi party, on his blog. He refers to the group as a valid nationalist organization and suggests that they operate as a street force for the BNP.
"This report shows that members and supporters of the BNP continue to hold and express the vilest racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist views - shocking even to those of us who thought our opinion of the BNP could never be lower," said CSC director Douglas Murray.