BNP leader Nick Griffin has been arrested "on suspicion of incitement to commit racial hatred". Now, I'm no fan of Griffin or the BNP, and I didn't see the documentary 'The Secret Agent', but what sort of charge is "incitement to commit racial hatred"? And anyway, if contemporaneous reports are accurate, Griffin's words were actually directed at Muslims and Islam, not Arabs or Pakistanis (ie religion, not race).
In the documentary, footage recorded at a meeting in Keighley shows BNP leader Mr Griffin saying it was important to stand up and act for the party or "they (Muslims) will do for someone in your family".
"For saying that, I tell you, I will get seven years if I said that outside." He calls Islam a "wicked, vicious faith" that "has expanded through a handful of cranky lunatics" and "is now sweeping country after country".
When Griffin later discovered about the clandestine filming,
Mr Griffin accused the programme makers of selectively editing a speech he delivered in the film and challenged the authorities to prosecute him. "It's still not illegal to criticise Islam", he said.
"If Mr Blunkett wants to put me on a show trial about whether we're entitled to warn about the dangers of Islam, I will be absolutely delighted." Any jury would see the full speech, in which he states that the BNP is not targeting individuals or communities, he added.
"Incitement to commit racial hatred" is nothing but a thought crime. If someone else commits a criminal act having heard or read Griffin's words, that person would be the culpable one, not Griffin. So, whom next will they come for - Charles Moore?