Richard Braine appeared to make comparisons between Muslims and Hitler
The new leader of the right-wing UK Independence Party has been accused of holding anti-Muslim views and saying there is “no moderate Islam”.
Richard Braine denies the allegations but in emails obtained by The Guardian he appears to make comparisons between Islam and the ideology of Adolf Hitler.
Founded as a Eurosceptic party in the 1990’s, Ukip has increasingly been accused of becoming a far-right group with racist views.
Its popularity has plummeted and it has employed anti-Islam campaigner Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, as an adviser in the past.
“The nonsense of the moderate Muslim is trotted out repeatedly by so many people with good intentions, but wilful ignorance of Islamic teaching,” one email read.
“There is no moderate Islam. Get used to it. It’s a fact. When people talk about moderate Muslims they are making an error.
“It is like saying Hitler wasn’t such a bad fellow, quite a laugh actually, an entertaining speaker, a patron of the arts – he loved Wagner – he made the trains run on time, and just look at his smart uniforms.
“It is to ignore completely the ideology to which the person is religiously wedded.
“You should no more apologise for a moderate Muslim, and wish him to settle in your country, than you should a moderate Maoist or Nazi.”
But Mr Braine claimed he was only talking about passages in Islamic teaching that were immoderate.
He said Muslims were “good people like the rest of us but it is the scripture that encourages violence”.
Founder and former leader Nigel Farage quit the party over its apparent far-right leanings.
“I certainly don’t wish to whip up ill feeling or hatred,” Mr Braine said. “I don’t believe in hatred. I come from a part of the world that has its basis as Christianity.
“But to some extent I reject the criticism of Islamophobia for the reason that we have had a large number of violent Islamic attacks in 55 countries and I normally think of Islamophobia as an irrational fear.
“I don’t think Islamophobia is appropriate for people scared of violent attacks routinely that we see in the press and on the streets of Britain.”