British National Party representations of Muslims in the month after the London bombings: Homogeneity, threat, and the conspiracy tradition

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr W. M. L. Finlay, Department of Psychology, Surrey University, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK (e-mail: w.finlay@surrey.ac.uk).

Abstract

This study presents an analysis of articles written by prominent members of the British National Party. Each of these articles discussed Muslims and Islam in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings. Two prominent discursive themes are discussed here. The first concerned the writers' constructions of the threat that Muslims and Islam pose to Britain. Central to this theme were constructions of Muslims as ‘fascists’, anti-white racists, and all potentially dangerous, although there was variability in this. Using the Koran as evidence, the articles present a vision of a faith which intends to take over the country; in this way, a homogenous, culturally essentialist version of Muslims is worked up. The second theme illustrates how the writers challenge those who believe that creating a British multicultural society is possible, and in doing so construct liberals and multiculturalists as also posing a threat to the country. The ways in which this represents a variety of conspiracy theory, and the implications of these constructions for social action, are discussed.

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