Today, British Border police detained firebrand Catholic priest Jacek Miedlar, who has become a focal point for far right nationalism in Poland and who was due to speak and march with Britain First activists through the town of Telford. He has previously been regarded as a “fanatical hate preacher” and a cursory glance at his web-site shows ultra-nationalism that is entwined with the use of religious symbolism and dogma in order to play on the strong sense of religiosity that runs through Polish society.

On the 7th of September 2016, the Polish Catholic Priest, Jacek Miedlar, tweeted at Britain First’s Jayda Fransen, making contact after she posted a video in which she stated, “Allahu Akbar” Migrant opportunists attack police and invade Europe.” This was we believe, the first point of engagement between Miedlar and Britain First.

Jacek Miedlar is from Wroclaw in West Poland and has been suspended by his local Catholic church for his firebrand speeches that mix ultra-nationalism with religious fervour. Wearing the black clerical robe with a hooded top, his speeches are  laced with anti-migrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and his web-site paints a picture of Jews who seek to undermine Poland albeit through historical work through the Holocaust and he regularly uses the term ‘Jewish media’ on his web-site to paint a picture of Jews attempting to undermine the ‘standing of Poland’ in the international sphere. Much of the rhetoric talks about Poland being ‘hospitable’ to Jews and how Jewish media sources are seeking to undermine the state, leaving some readers with a chilling feeling that Miedlar holds some very questionable views on Jews and their place in Polish society.

Miedlar’s web-site also has articles posted by Jayda Fransen of Britain First, where she talks of an ‘approaching civil war’ in the United Kingdom. The interview on his web-site provides Fransen with the opportunity to talk about “Islam being the biggest threat to our nation” and the questions within the interview neither challenge Fransen, but provide her with an open platform to state the following far right propaganda:

“With the Islamization of Britain we meet in almost every corner of our country. Starting from the colonisation of our cities and our towns, and ending with the epidemic gangs who are ruthlessly raping and torturing our children. Islam is used as both a shield and a sword. What does it mean?  Shield to defend against Muslims accused in the case of child molestation and public unrest, which is translated as “cultural misunderstanding.” Islam is also used as a sword in (sic) implementating the culture and traditions such as the presence of Sharia Law and to use churches for Muslim prayer.”

What is also bizarre is the sheer opportunism of groups like Britain First. For years, they have blamed migrant communities such as Eastern European communities for social ills in the country, yet they are now seeking to engage with ultra-nationalists such as Miedlar to recruit from the very communities they have vilified for many years.

We commend the actions of British law enforcement in detaining Miedlar from entering the country and in bringing his politics of division into the UK. The last thing we need is far right nationalism entering our country given that there has been one death because of the actions of a far right Ukrainian extremist who killed grandfather Muhammad Saleem on the streets of Birmingham. Miedlar has no place in the United Kingdom nor should he be allowed to poison the minds of settled Polish communities who work so hard to make a productive life in the UK. They deserve better and we will continue to monitor developments in this area.

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