• Thursday, June 30, 2022


Party will hold Islamophobia inquiry, Tory chairman James Cleverly confirms

James Cleverly (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Keerthi Mohan

THE Conservative party will launch an independent probe into allegations of Islamophobia within its ranks, the chairman confirmed on Sunday (4).

James Cleverly, however, said the party must first agree on a definition of Islamophobia.

When asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday whether there would be an inquiry into Islamophobia, Cleverly said: “There will be…

“One of the things that we need to get is the definition of that and so specifically on that point we will guided by the formal definition of Islamophobia.

“But the point is we do and will always take firm action with anyone who steps outside the boundaries of appropriate behaviour.”

Earlier this year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims came up with a definition for Islamophobia that was endorsed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Conservatives and several Muslim groups.

However, a government spokesperson at the time said the wording needed “further careful consideration” and had “not been broadly accepted”.

Concerns were raised that the definition could undermine efforts to tackle extremism.

The definition states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

As one of her last acts as prime minister, Theresa May appointed Imam Qari Asim to provide an expert advice on a definition of Islamophobia for the government.

Meanwhile, Cleverly also raised doubts over a poll suggesting that a significant number of Conservative members saw Islam as a threat to Western civilisation.

According to the YouGov survey, 54 per cent of Conservative members believe Islam is “generally a threat to the British way of life”, while 60 per cent said the religion “is generally a threat to Western civilisation”.

Reacting to the results of the poll, Cleverley said: “That poll was of people who claimed to be party members we didn’t share out membership data with the polling company, so we’re not sure that they necessarily are.

“We’ve always taken a robust line with people who have said inappropriate things or inappropriate behaviour. We will always do that.”

Eastern Eye

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