Theresa May

Conservative Muslim Forum join nationwide call for Tory party Islamophobia probe

The Executive Committee of the Conservative Muslim Forum has just added its voice to calls last night from over 350 mosques and Muslim organisations all over the Muslim community for an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Tory party.

It will be increasingly hard for Theresa May to ignore the mounting pressure for an independent inquiry after some sickening high profile racist incidents within the party.

– Especially in her current weakened position, facing conspiracies and hostile briefings from within her party, as well as losing parliamentary votes next week on a staggering 15 amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill membership including membership of the Customs Union.

On the Marr show on the weekend, Sajid Javid dismissed accusations that the Conservative Party have a problem with racism against Muslims by pointing to his own position as a Home Secretary from a Muslim background.

Javid, who has often accused the Labour Party of having an antisemitism problem, dismissed calls to take Islamophobia in the Conservative Party seriously by the Muslim Council of Britain and even top Tory peer Mohamed Sheikh and former Tory Party Chair Sayeeda Warsi.

But tonight Prime Minister Theresa May is under intense pressure to have an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative party as over 350 mosques and Muslim organisations have written to the Conservative Party backing calls for a formal Islamophobia probe.

With organisations from all over England, Wales and Scotland backing the Muslim Council of Great Britain, Theresa May and Sajid Javid can no longer argue that calls for an investigation into the Conservative Party’s record of racism when it comes to the Muslim community is not representative.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi who was the most senior Muslim parliamentarian in the Conservative party, said there was a “simmering underbelly of Islamophobia” within the party. She said the failure to address it seriously was “embarrassing” for the Tory party and that her calls over the past two years had gone unheeded.

The Executive Committee of the Conservative Muslim Forum met yesterday and unanimously resolved to send an open letter to the Leader of the Party, which is reproduced below. Their calls for an investigation will be harder for Theresa May or Sajid Javid to convincingly dismiss.

Letter to the Leader of the Conservative Party

4 June 2018

Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Leader

The Conservative Party

Conservative Campaign Headquarters

4 Matthew Parker Street

London

SW1H 9HQ

Dear Mrs May

As you will know, last week the Muslim Council of Britain called upon our Party to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia (generally understood to mean anti-Muslim hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice) within the Party.

Since then, Conservative peers The Rt Hon Baroness Warsi and Lord Sheikh have supported the request for such an inquiry.

The Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF) avoided any public comment until the Executive Committee was able to meet, which it did earlier this evening. The Executive Committee unanimously concluded that it is essential that the Party should hold such an inquiry and resolved to send you this open letter.

We will be happy to provide any assistance that the inquiry may require.

Yours sincerely

Mohammed Amin

Chairman

Conservative Muslim Forum

The letter refers to an open letter from the Muslim Council of Great Britain calling for the Tory Party to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in its ranks.

The letter addressed to Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis last week, called for “a full audit to ensure racists and bigots have no place in the party.”

The letter by the representatives of Britain’s Muslim community complained that “no action has been taken against Bob Blackman MP who has now shown a consistent record of endorsing Islamophobia.

“Mr Blackman re-tweeted an anti-Muslim post by the far-right extremist Tommy Robinson, hosted the anti-Muslim extremist Tapan Ghosh in Parliament, shared an anti-Muslim post on Facebook and this week was found to have been a member of a number of Islamophobic Facebook groups.”

The Muslim Council of Great Britain’s letter went on:

“Just last month, there were more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the Conservative Party including the following public examples:

  • 5 April: Mike Payne, who shared an article which called Muslims ‘parasites’ who ‘live off the state and breed like rabbits’.
  • 17 April: Alexander van Terheyden, who called Islam a ‘violent political ideology’ comparable to fascism and communism.
  • 20 April: Darren Harrison, who was alleged to have links to Generation Identity, an anti-Islam organisation with strong links to far-right groups across Europe.
  • 24 April: Phillipa Auton, who retweeted a tweet from Tommy Robinson and tweeted ‘Revoke Muslim immigration, repatriate and secure European borders..’ as a means of keeping Europe safe.
  • 25 April: Peter Lucey who liked a page by right-wing extremist Tommy Robinson and Geert Wilders, the anti-Muslim Dutch politician, and made a number of posts about Islam and the English Defence League.
  • 27 April: Nick Sundin, who tweeted the ‘Prophet Mohammed was a ‘f****** paedophile’
  • 1 May: Karen Sunderland, who called Islam ‘the new Nazism’.
  • 1 May: David Boston posted a picture of bacon hanging on a door handle as a way to ‘protect your house from terrorism’.
  • 23 May: Stephen Goldsack had formerly been the “Scottish security adviser” for the BNP in 2001, which led to the Muslim Council of Scotland accusing the Conservative Party of a “deep problem” of racism and Islamophobia.

“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg and what is in the public domain.”

The letter said that while these incidents were dealt with, they were just the tip of the iceberg and “the inaction taken in high-profile cases, sends a signal that Islamophobia is to be tolerated in the Conservative party.”

In response to the Muslim Council’s accusations a Conservative spokesman said: “We take all such incidents seriously, which is why we have suspended all those who have behaved inappropriately and launched immediate investigations.”

The Muslim Council has requested that the Conservative Party take the following steps:

  1. Launch a genuinely independent inquiry into Islamophobia within the members, structures, electoral campaigns and public representatives of the party.
  2. Publish a list of incidents of Islamophobia within the party where action has already been taken.
  3. Adopt a programme of education and training on Islamophobia.
  4. Publicly reaffirm from the highest levels a commitment against bigotry wherever it is found.

@BenGelblum

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