Outrage as prospective Leicester MP condemns Islam on his blog
The UKIP candidate for the Leicester South by-election has caused outrage by condemning Islam on his blog.
In the article, Abhijit Pandya called Islam "morally flawed and degenerate" and said he backed a controversial Dutch politician, who called Islam a retarded ideology.
Mr Pandya also wrote that Britain should not shy away from forced repatriation of foreign citizens who did not work.
The city's Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO) said it was surprised at Mr Pandya's "hostile" comments, which it said were "cheap pot shots".
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In his blog, Mr Pandya wrote: "Campaigning in Leicester recently, I have been shocked to discover the quanta of those from Islamic backgrounds on one form of a benefit or another.
"Islamic culture inherently rejects the Western way of life, more specifically the Protestant work ethic, that has successfully built the economies of the West. The increase of Islam in the UK is going to be a problem for the welfare state.
"A removal of multi-culturalism and assimilation of these people needs to done to save them from the abyss of exclusion and welfare. Above all, one should not shy away of contemplating forced repatriation, or threatening it to further assimilation, as a result of their lack of economic contribution to the UK."
He added: "A system that treats women as slaves without chains is morally flawed and degenerate.
"Why should Britain, the country that fathered the modern world, put up with this – as (controversial Dutch politician Geert) Wilder's put it – 'retarded ideology'."
Suleman Nagdi, of the FMO, hit back. He said: "I am surprised at the UKIP candidate taking such a hostile approach in his web blog by blaming the Muslim community for virtually every problem in society.
"I am even more surprised because the candidate has not attended any hustings meetings and has instead hid behind his measly words. Candidates who cherish our long-standing history of democracy, tolerance and respect for human rights would not make such immature and distorted comments.
"There are a number serious charges in the web blog against Muslims which the FMO would be very keen on having a public debate about.
"Rather than hiding behind words, we wish to engage in a constructive and mature debate about some of the important issues facing people in the UK today regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian or from any other faith communities.
"At a time when many people may lose their jobs or lose vital services, I would rather we focus on seeking solutions to these major challenges rather than taking cheap pot shots at one particular community." Mr Pandya told the Mercury yesterday: "I was highlighting issues regarding integration and employment which we should not shy away from discussing."