We have belatedly stumbled across your open letter to Paolo Di Canio, the Sunderland football manager, written earlier this year about his support for Mussolini. You accused him of racism and claimed that racism and fascism are near identical.
While we certainly don’t support fascism, you’ll doubtless be aware that your two accusations were demolished in an article in the Spectator entitled “Paolo Di Canio is right — Italian Fascism was not racist”. It ill becomes a priest to make questionable accusations.
As to fascism, the word is defined in the Oxford dictionary and Chambers dictionary as a mix of authoritarianism, militarism, “restrictions on personal freedom” etc, and we have some questions for you about fascism (numbered below). (Incidentally the dictionary definitions of racism bear no resemblance to the definitions of fascism, which makes your claim that the two are near identical completely ridiculous).
Muslims have made strenuous efforts at the United Nations for many years to have all criticism of Islam banned worldwide: clearly a form of “authoritarianism”: Hitler and Stalin banned criticism of themselves.
Moreover, Muslims have a tendency to kill or threaten the cartoonists and authors they don’t like (as did Hitler and Stalin). And a significant proportion of Muslims think that anyone leaving their faith should be killed. If that’s not fascism, what is?(1).
Next, a book called “Introducing Islam to Non-Muslims” by Ahmad Hussein Sakr and Hussein Khalid Al-Hussein (p.7) says, “..it is important to mention that the principle of democracy defined as the majority ruling is not approved in Islam..”. Do you agree (2) that that statement is pure fascism?
Would you agree (3) that those fascist activities by a large and well-funded organisation (Islam) are vastly more serious than any fascist tendencies of one individual: the manager of a football club? And (4) since you claim to be concerned about fascism, what efforts have you made to counter those very serious fascist activities by Muslims?
The answer seems to be none, which suggests that your concern about Di Canio’s fascism is contrived: that is, you are actually just jumping on a politically correct band wagon.
Some of the reasons you turn a blind eye to the fascist tendencies of Islam are of course pathetically obvious. First you are a cleric, so you turn a blind eye to the sins of other supposedly religious people. Indeed, Christian priests’ attempts to cover up the pedophile activities of fellow priests in recent decades is a particularly revolting example of that priestly tendency.
The second reason you’ve played down the fascist tendencies of Islam is that it is politically correct to do so, and like most Christian priests, you are an adherent to the new religion, political correctness rather than Christianity.
The “far right”.
Next, in your letter to Di Canio you refer to the “pernicious and poisonous doctrine” of the British National Party and its “toxic far-right tendencies”.
When issuing insults like the above, any normal decent person would give some VERY GOOD justifications. You don’t do so in your letter or anywhere else, as far as we can see.
As regards the “militarism” element of fascism, the Labour and Tory Parties helped George Bush invade Iraq and around a million Muslims died as a result. In contrast the BNP strenuously opposed the war from the start. And in even starker contrast, you expressed very ambivalent views on the war in a sermon preached on the day the war started. Well, the so called “Christian” church’s main priority has always been to keep in sweet with the establishment, hasn’t it? The Church sided with the aristocracy, not the poor, prior to the French Revolution.
Do you agree (5) that as far as the “militarism” element of fascism goes, the Labour and Tory parties and you yourself are far more fascist than the BNP? And given the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed (6), you are clearly far more racist than the BNP, at least as far as Iraq goes, aren’t you? And given that invading other countries for very questionable reasons was a defining characteristic of Nazism, both you and the above two political parties are nearer are to holding Nazi views than the BNP, at least as far as Iraq goes.
And if you don’t like being called a Nazi, we make no apologies. Your foul mouthed colleague, Tom Wright, the former Bishop of Durham, referred to the BNP as Nazis. If so called “Christian” priests want to issue insults, they shouldn’t be surprised if they get a kick in the whatsits in return.
Next, given that the BNP and EDL have never threatened any cartoonists or authors, would you agree (7) that as far as freedom of speech for cartoonists and authors goes, Islam is far more “toxic and far right” than the BNP or EDL? And do you agree (8) that advocating a much stricter control on immigration is utterly harmless compared to actually KILLING huge numbers of PEOPLE?
If you have any decency, you will either publically apologise for your insulting remarks about the BNP, or give a full justification for those remarks.
Moreover, if you were a Christian, you’d attempt to bring people you regard as the worst sinners to repentance, rather than merely insult them, as suggested in Matthew 9:13. But no doubt you find preaching to the converted in your cathedral, a relatively useless activity, more congenial.
Since you deplore BNP policies, then logically you ought to deplore various countries round the world which have vastly stricter rules on granting citizenship to immigrants than the UK, Saudi Arabia being a prime example. But of course you don’t and for reasons which are pathetically obvious, and mentioned above.
And now two final points. First, please note this letter has not been officially sanctioned by the BNP or any organisation.
Second you’ll be delighted to learn that no local newspaper was willing to publish this letter despite our offer to pay for relevant advertising space. But no big surprises: members of the establishment are adept at scratching each other’s backs at the expense of the general population – the purchase of peerages by millionaires, with Labour and Tory Parties pocketing the proceeds being just one example of that back scratching.
In contrast, your original letter to Di Canio got a good hundred thousand pounds worth of free publicity in the press. You must feel very secure being a member of the establishment. You have your reward (Matthew 6:5).
Yours sincerely, Ralph Musgrave and Peter Mailer.