A Conservative Party general election candidate has drawn flak for sharing a message on social media that claimed Muslims have “nasty culture.”
Linden Kemkaran, who is standing for Conservatives in Bradford East, retweeted a message on Twitter last week that dismissed Islamophobia.
The former BBC journalist also retweeted two others who accused Naz Shah, shadow minister for women and equalities, for being “not white enough” to have experienced Bradford’s “no-go areas.”
The message that was retweeted read: “You are a dunce. There weren’t any no-go areas when I was a kid. Muslims always the victims, play race card, ‘Islamophobia’, what a crock, what a nasty culture. No integration, what makes you think we will accept 3rd world ways and why should we?”
Kemkaran also retweeted another message that said Shah’s loyalties weren’t with Bradford.
After Shah flagged up the post that declared Islamophobia to be “crock”, Kemkaran replied: “Please @NazShahBfd don’t bother trying to shut me up by crying ‘Islamophobia’, or calling me a racist. Neither is true. I’m standing up for the diverse people of #Bradford who are telling me how it is. You should be listening to people not trying to shut down debate.”
The retweets have since been unshared.
On Monday (9), Shah submitted an complaint to Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly, urging him to suspend Kemkaran.
In the letter, Shah wrote: “To peddle these far-right tropes – especially an individual standing for office – is not only irresponsible, but hugely dangerous for minority communities … I do not believe it is fit for a parliamentary candidate to retweet a message, victim-blaming Muslims, suggesting attacks on them are nonsense, whilst almost half of all religious hate crime offences in 2018-19 were targeted against Muslims (according to the Home Office); or to assert that Muslims have a ‘nasty culture’.”
On Sunday, Cleverly apologised for cases of Islamophobia in the party. He said he was “sorry” when Tory candidates “do or say things that are wrong”.