James Dalton, UKIP candidate for Barnsley East, has said that a vote for UKIP would “keep Islam out” and appeared to compare Islam to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Dalton tweeted comedian Ricky Gervais, stating: “the only way of keeping Islam out is a vote for #UKIP. Tell us your best Mohammed joke will you?”

His tweet was accompanied by a social media tile promoting the UKIP candidate, stating: “Until our leaders admit the truth about Islam, the problems will get worse and more people will die. Labour imported Islam for votes. Conservatives accept it for money. How can you help? Vote UKIP.”

When asked whether he would support local Islamic events if he was elected as Barnsley’s MP, Dalton stated: “Of course I wouldn’t. Neither would I support Nazi or KKK events. What’s wrong with you? Why the sympathy and support for Islam? Ignorance?”

The conflation of violent extremists with the large majority of peaceful Muslims is unfortunately nothing new for Dalton.

He has previously written that “Islam is not compatible with civil liberal Western society. Islam is not compatible with freedom,” in an article for the UKIP Daily, following the Berlin attacks in December.

“The policies of free movement of people, the policies of the EU, the policies of authoritarian social engineers in Germany, France, the UK and the EU institutions have brought death, rape and fear to the peoples of Europe,” he said.

Dalton’s comments come after Stuart Potter, a UKIP councillor in Portsmouth, called Islam an “evil cult” and stated that Muslims “need to be completely removed from our country” in a Facebook post.

Such claims bear the troubling signs of ‘counter-jihad’ ideology, which promulgates the belief that Western civilisation is under attack from the supposedly “supremacist” religion of Islam, and the misguided belief that there is little difference between violent jihadists and ordinary Muslims who live their lives quite peaceably.

Such views have become increasingly mainstreamed in recent years and seem to be shared by several UKIP candidates hoping to win over the electorate tomorrow.