UKIP’s new leader has told Sky News that Britain should “look into” banning people from handing out the Quran in public.
Richard Braine suggested the Islamic holy book should have its distribution limited.
He said: “Don’t forget that our law actually bans incitement to violence and so I think it’s a very important issue that people look at – why the Manchester Arena attack, Lee Rigby, 7/7 bombings, Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and many, many other attacks – Asad Shah, for example, in Glasgow.”
Asked whether he believed the distribution of the Quran in public should be outlawed, Mr Braine added: “We need to look into whether it’s illegal to do so because we do have laws against incitement to violence, so we should look into that.
“I understand there’s something like a 100-year threshold where, if a work is more than 100 years old, it isn’t subject to incitement laws.
“But I think that’s worth looking at because there’s no question that some people who commit violence are motivated by the scripture.”
Mr Braine stressed he was “not saying” the Quran should be banned completely, but drew a comparison between Islam and the Scientology movement.
He said: “It’s important to analyse why people behave the way they do – if religions or cults are actually encouraging people to do bad things then we should be able to talk about that and look at it carefully and actually see if there’s a solution to stop people just answering the demands or the commands to go and be violent.”
Mr Braine is reported to have made similar comments about the Quran at a recent hustings event for UKIP members.
According to the Guardian, the software developer and photographer also claimed that British Islam has particular problems with bigamy and welfare abuse, and referred to the jailed anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson as a “political prisoner.”
The newspaper also reported Mr Braine branded Islam an “alien ideology” and suggested there were areas of the UK where “you’re simply not welcome” as a non-Islamic person.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: “UKIP’s continued descent into even greater depths of bigotry is only matched by its growing irrelevance and obscurity. Virulent Islamophobia was not a successful tactic under the previous UKIP leadership, and will not be this time. Our nation knows better.”
Mr Braine replaced his political ally Gerard Batten as UKIP leader, whose term in charge ended shortly after the EU elections in which the party lost all its MEPs.
Mr Batten, who supported Mr Braine’s candidacy, has himself described Islam as a “death cult” and called the Prophet Muhammad (saw) a peadophile.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage left the party in December last year due to its “fixation” with Islam under Mr Batten.