Previous data that we have released has shown how UKIP sympathisers have been highlighted in statements made to victims of anti-Muslim hate. For example, in statements made to victims by perpetrators between June to December 2014, the hashtag #UKIP comes up in on-line anti-Muslim statements made to victims. This implies, one of a few things; that perpetrators sympathise with UKIP or they believe that UKIP represents their views in some way. (The larger the term, the greater the frequency of use of the term).
Today, we had a statement sent to us reportedly made by the UKIP council candidate for the Strood North ward in Rochester in Kent. Paul O’Rourke, it seems, is known for his forthright views on Twitter and for his ardent support of UKIP. Yet in response to a tweet from radio talk show host Jon Gaunt, the UKIP council candidate made the following comment:
It seems that Paul O’Rourke wants to ‘hit the burka’ (sic) and the implications of that statement leave the reader with a range of possible thoughts. The burqa is worn by a small number of conservative Muslim women and the suggestion made by this council candidate should raise a number of questions about his candidacy. Do UKIP supporters or residents in the Strood North ward want an individual promoting such views to represent them? The statement is chilling given that any council candidate should not be promoting any form of violence or suggestions of physical violence.
We hope that UKIP seriously reconsider this person’s candidacy since if the party wants to be taken seriously, then it has to clean house on people making comments that can be viewed as being aggressive, bigoted or threatening in nature. In this case, the threat of aggression towards an item of clothing usually worn by a small number of conservative Muslim women is chilling.