• Tuesday, July 05, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Muslim council demands probe into Tory ‘Islamophobia crisis’

The MCB dossier highlighted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “dehumanising and offensive” comments comparing women wearing purdahs to “bank robbers” and “letter boxes”. (Photo: Victoria Jones/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Eastern Eye Staff

THE Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has reasserted its demand for an independent probe into Islamophobia accusations against the Conservative Party, after sending a dossier of 300 alleged cases involving Tories to UK’s human rights watchdog.

The dossier sent to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) included claims against the prime minister and his aides, party members, MPs and councillors.

The MCB’s secretary general, Harun Khan, accused the party of being in “denial” over the “systemic” problem of Islamophobia.

He urged the EHRC to take “swift action”, alleging that the watchdog had “failed to give any response” to its formal demand for an inquiry in May last year.

The first dossier had named about 150 people who allegedly displayed Islamophobia, or made anti-Muslim remarks.

The new dossier, with double the number of allegations, included:

* The prime minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings playing on “fears of immigration and hate against Muslims” during the Vote Leave campaign.

* MP Dehenna Davison being photographed with a far-right activist, who was spotted in a picture showing him burning a copy of the Koran while posing next to a “f*** P****” message.

* MP Daniel Kawczynski speaking at a conference with far-right leaders.

* MP Karl McCartney retweeting anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson’s posts.

* MP Sally-Ann Hart terming an anti-Islam activist’s article as an “affecting read”.

* Unsavoury comments by Andrew Sabisky, who recently quit as a No 10 adviser, on the UK turning into a “majority Islamic nation” by 2050.

Though the Conservative Party had promised a probe on discrimination in general within the party, but refused a specific independent inquiry into Islamophobia.

“There is no doubt that the Conservative Party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread,” Khan told the Mirror. “The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit.”

He added that it was a case of “clear discrimination against Muslims” because of their religion”.

Said Khan: “The absence of meaningful action by the Conservative Party despite the wealth of evidence makes it all the more important that the EHRC recognises the impact of this level of Islamophobia in our governing party, and takes swift action.”

An EHRC spokesperson said the watchdog was “actively considering what, if any, action we may take in relation to the handling of Islamophobia and other discrimination within the Conservative Party”.

“We are also awaiting the final terms of reference of the party’s independent review which we will consider as part of our decision making process,” she added.

The MCB dossier highlighted the prime minister’s “dehumanising and offensive” comments comparing women wearing purdahs to “bank robbers” and “letter boxes”.

Johnson had apologised for “all the hurt and offence” caused to Muslims, and promised a “zero-tolerance approach” towards Islamophobia.

Eastern Eye

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