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Muslim Council of Britain condems Conservative Party over ‘fundamental failures’ to address Islamophobia

Young children take part in an anti-racism rally in Glasgow in March.
Young children take part in an anti-racism rally in Glasgow in March.

THE Muslim Council of Britain has lashed out at the Conservative Party for its failure to address Islamophobia.

Appearing at an inquiry of the Home Affairs Select Committee in Westminster into the definition of Islamophobia, Miqdaad Versi, the MCB’s spokesperson, said unequivocal failures when it comes to Islamophobia.

“Not just small failures, fundamental failures in every single way,” Versi was quoted as saying. “I’m talking about leadership within the party, for example the mayoral election.

“I’m talking about issues when Members of Parliament have done certain things and no action has been taken against them. I’m talking about when councillors and representatives of the Conservative Party have said or done things which are inappropriate or unacceptable.”

Sometimes action is taken against them, and sometimes no action is taken until and unless the media highlights the issue, pointed out Versi.

He continued: “And then what happens? A few weeks later they are quietly let back into the party. These type of things are unacceptable.

“There is a fundamental failure of process, there is a fundamental failure of the fact that this is an important issue. I think there is this idea that this is not a problem for us, and I think that is unacceptable.”

He added that until the party acknowledges Islamophobia was a serious problem, it would be hard to find a solution.

In May, the MCB submitted more than 20 pages of evidence to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, urging an official probe into Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.

Along with Boris Johnson, MPs including Bob Blackman, Zac Goldsmith, Michael Fabricant and Philip Hollobone were named in the document.

Harun Rashid Khan, secretary of the MCB, said the organisation took this step after “an unprecedented number of cases” were brought to their attention. “The concerns of Muslims at large about Islamophobia within the Conservative Party have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

The Conservative Party has faced immense pressure to deal with Islamophobia in the party. In March, the party was accused of trying to “sweep Islamophobia under the carpet” after quietly reinstating 15 councillors who were suspended over racist media posts.

The party has also faced criticism for refusing to adopt a definition of Islamophobia that was put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims.