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article imageOp-Ed: Inciting racially motivated hate in the UK adds fuel to the fire

By Eileen Kersey     Dec 12, 2013 in World
London - The trial of two men accused of killing Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich in May continues in London. The brutal killing of Rigby has led to an increase in verbal attacks of Muslims online but the UK does not need more hatred.
This opinion piece is a tale of two murders, one highly publicised, one briefly in the media headlights.
No matter what you think about the killing of Lee Rigby, hate must have played a part in his death. Not personal hate, but hate of the uniform he proudly wore as a British soldier, and of the British army's missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The fact that the two men charged with killing Lee are black-skinned, and he was white, appears to have no direct bearing on the case. That cannot be said for the mens' religious beliefs.
Setting aside skin colour, which is a separate topic, the fact that one of the accused, Michael Adebolajo, 28, took the stand Tuesday and told the court he is a 'soldier of Allah' will be jumped upon by those who see the Islamic faith as full of extremists.
Too many right-wing extremists spout their opinions, only seeing Muslims as killers but what about when the boot is on the other foot?
In October 2013 Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, dubbed the Black-country Mosque bomber in the UK, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum jail term of 40 years. White supremacist student Lapshyn was charged with stabbing to death 82-year-old grandfather Mohammed Saleem and bombing Mosques in the West Midlands on April 29.
He arrived in the UK from the Ukraine in April. He was supposedly in the UK to study, after winning a placement with a software firm, but within five days of arriving in Britain his hate campaign began. The "shy and polite" Ukrainian wanted to start a race war in the UK.
He began by killing Mr Saleem, before attacking three Mosques in the Birmingham area, of the UK. Mr Saleem was stabbed to death as he made his way home following evening prayers at his local mosque.
Lapshyn planted one bomb close to a Mosque, in a child's lunchbox. Bombs included shrapnel and nails but a twist of fate prevented injuries at one Mosque. A scheduled service in the Mosque was delayed. The bomb was placed and timed to strike at worshippers as they arrived for prayers at the Mosque. Due to the delayed service it exploded in an empty car park.
Maybe it was "divine intervention"?.
Police were slow to apprehend Lapshyn as they initially believed a family member of Mr Saleem was responsible for the murder. Lapshyn remained unrepentant during and after his trial.
BBC News described his "90-days of terror in the UK" saying:
Who is Pavlo Lapshyn and what was his motive for carrying out a 90-day campaign of terror? During his police interviews, the Ukrainian student made no secret of his motive. "Racism," he said. "I would like to increase racial conflict because they are not white and I am white."
Before sentencing him at the Old Bailey, judge Mr Justice Sweeney told Lapshyn he clearly held white supremacist views full of racial hatred. The judge said:
"You were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred.
"You were clearly planning to plant and detonate more devices in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living.
"Such views, hatred and motivation are abhorrent to all right thinking people and have no place whatsoever in our multi-faith and multi-cultural society." -- Sky News
You can never compare the deaths of two people. Rigby was young with a life before him, a young son, a career and more. Saleem was a grandfather who had lived a long-life only for his family to lose him in a savage way. Both families will hurt.
The UK like so many other countries around the world, but especially in the west, is under attack by extremists.
Whether they are black, white, Muslims, Christians, foreign, right-wing, from the left, pink, purple or from Mars the end result is the same.
Those who prefer to concentrate on certain specifics of some cases, and gloss over other crimes, are almost as bad as the extremists, or even the attackers. After all they fuel more extremist behaviour.
Religion and race specific hate resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews in Nazi Germany and beyond, plus led to global conflict killing millions more people of various races.
Those who appear to enjoy fuelling racially motivated hate perhaps ought to bear this in mind.
British Law courtesy of Wikipedia:
Under the Law of the United Kingdom, "incitement to racial hatred" was established as an offence by the provisions of §§ 17-29 of the Public Order Act 1986. It was first established as a criminal offence in the Race Relations Act 1976. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made publication of material that incited racial hatred an arrestable offence.
This offence refers to:
deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
distributing racist material to the public
making inflammatory public speeches
creating racist websites on the Internet
inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
Holocaust denial is not covered under this legislation, but laws against incitement to hatred against religions were later established under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. However this legislation is not present in Scotland.
December 13 update
: BBC News reports:
Two men have been arrested for posting anti-Semitic tweets following Tottenham Hotspur's match with West Ham.
A 24-year-old man from Croydon and a 22-year-old man from Wiltshire posted the comments about Hitler and the gas chambers after the Premier League match on 6 October.
Both men were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
Another 48-year-old man, from Canning Town, was arrested on 5 December on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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