UJS pledge to lead anti-BNP campaign

By Marcus Dysch, November 19, 2009

Undergraduates should be at the forefront of campaigns against the BNP and other far-right groups, according to Union of Jewish Students chairman Adam Pike.

Mr Pike said he had “watched with horror” as the extreme right-wing English Defence League held demonstrations across the country and the BNP achieved two seats in the European Parliament.

He was speaking on the topic of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus at a Joseph Interfaith Foundation conference held at SOAS.

He appeared alongside Salman Waqar of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies — the first time UJS and FSIS representatives have shared a platform.

Mr Pike said: “The EDL and BNP pose a threat to our communities. We will not accept it. It’s up to us as minority students to target seats where the BNP focus during the election. We will not take any provocation of Muslims.

“We could have done a lot more to stop Nick Griffin getting elected. We have to do everything in our power to show our communities the way forward.”

He said he would lead a group of Jewish students to constituencies such as Stoke which are likely to be targeted by the far right.

Discussing with Mr Waqar potential areas for co-operation, Mr Pike said UJS and FSIS could also work together on non-political matters such as halal and kosher food provision and exams clashing with religious holidays.

Mehri Niknam, of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, said: “Jointly confronting antisemitism and Islamophobia must become a common cause for Jews and Muslims.”

Last updated: 2:49pm, November 19 2009