July 31st, 2014

Race-hate figures attending Pastor James McConnell's church

Northern IrelandBy Steven Moore
Pastor James McConnell
Pastor James McConnell

Controversial Pastor James McConnell is already preaching his anti-Muslim beliefs to the converted.

For we can reveal his church is attended by senior race hate figures including BNP Ulster boss Steven Moore and Britain First leader Paul Golding.

Other right-wing loyalists have also joined the church's 2,000 strong congregation and regularly attend the Whitewell Tabernacle to hear Pastor McConnell deliver his contentious sermons.

Mr McConnell, who last week described Islam as being “Satanic”, has remained in the headlines this week because he won support from First Minister Peter Robinson.

Anti-fascist campaigners have told the Sunday World that far-right leaders in Northern Ireland are “ecstatic” with McConnell’s speech for bringing their beliefs out into the mainstream. 

One of those leaders – Steven Moore – has been running the Ulster branch of the BNP for the last five years but hasn’t had too much success.

Last week he stood in the local council elections in the Coast Road ward of Mid and east Antrim but attracted a measly 73 votes – and that’s 16 votes less than he got in the council elections in 2011.

“Moore and his BNP chums are ecstatic that Peter Robinson has backed the Pastor's terrible comments about Muslims,” said one anti-fascist.

 

“It’s like all their Christmases have come at once watching everyone turn on each other over this. The comments have exposed Northern Ireland’s deep rooted racism and made people who feel that way think it’s acceptable to express those thoughts publicly.”

Ulster BNP organiser Moore was exposed by the Sunday World in 2010 as a racist who loves Hitler videos, slagging off ethnic minorities and listening to twisted skinhead bands.

Ex-forces Moore is a great fan of pastor McConnell and has campaigned vigorously against Muslims. 

He launched a campaign to stop a mosque allegedly being built in Ballymena and launched another hate campaign to terrify the people of Larne that a proposed detention centre for failed asylum seekers would turn their town into some sort of Asian ghetto.

We exposed Moore for calling Muslims “ragheads” and Catholics “Taigs”.

                                                                                        The BNP's Steven Moore 

And he regularly posts his bigoted comments online including: “Why the f**k do parents allow their daughters to run about at all hours of the night with Asians when these outrages are common knowledge? Bring back the rope.”

And another highlights his loyalist roots: “F**k the Bloody Sunday enquiry. We have always been the victims of republican genocide.”

But in 2011 we revealed, that despite his desire for the repatriation of non-white people in the UK, his own father-in-law is an Indian man who lives in Larne.

Meanwhile Britain First boss Paul Golding has been a frequent visitor to Ulster after he teamed up with former BNP fundraiser Jim Dowson.

The pair made Belfast their funding base and have expanded the anti-Islam group throughout the UK.

Recently Golding has been organising shocking ‘Mosque Invasions’ in England and then posting them online.

During these so-called invasions Golding and his gang of far-right pals, which included convicted loyalist terrorist Matt King, enter mosques and intimidate those inside.

They recently entered the East London Mosque in Whitechapel to hand out Army issued bibles and Christian leaflets and asked to speak to the Imam.

The party staged similar invasions at mosques in Bradford and Scotland during their campaign against Muslim grooming gangs. 

Described by anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate as “probably the only group experiencing growth on the far-right”, Britain First has attracted attention in 2014 because of the mosque “invasions” and their so-called “Christian Patrols” which they conducted around east London.

Driving around in military jeeps, Golding’s group handed more Christian literature to Muslims round Tower Hamlets and staged protests by drinking alcohol outside mosques.

Pastor McConnell’s anti-Islam comments have divided opinion and led to heated debate about whether they were racist or not.

First Minister Peter Robinson’s comments have landed him in hot water and there have even been calls for him to resign.

Meanwhile the Sunday World understands senior party figures within the Alliance Party have appealed to Anna Lo not to quit politics.

The south Belfast MLA, who’s originally from China, said she was planning to leave Northern Ireland because she was fed up with racial abuse.