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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Tories drop Islamophobia inquiry

With the General Election behind them and a enjoying a comfortable majority, the Tories are reverting to type with one of their first acts after voting being to abandon the promised inquiry into Islamophobia. Instead Boris Johnson has announced a broad-brush review of how the party handles discrimination complaints.

The Guardian says that the Muslim Council of Britain has expressed concern at the move on Tuesday, saying it suspected that broadening the remit was designed to bury the real problem:

“This appointment is at risk of being seen in the same light as the Conservative party’s customary approach to Islamophobia, that of denial, dismissal and deceit,” said its general secretary, Harun Khan.

“We were promised an independent inquiry into Islamophobia specifically. Now we have a review that aims to broaden the scope to examine discrimination more generally. A laudable aim if it were not for the fact that the Conservative party is afflicted with a particular type of bigotry that it refuses to countenance.”

The prime minister, who has himself publicly ridiculed Muslim women who wear the burqa, indicated that he would renege on his pledge to hold the more focused inquiry within a fortnight of making the vow live on television as he sought the Conservative leadership this summer.

Johnson faced staunch criticism as the plan was quickly watered down and the Tories have opened numerous investigations into allegations of Islamophobic behaviour by party figures in recent months.

While he has declined to apologise for the comments he has made in newspaper articles, Johnson has said sorry in more general terms for “all the hurt and offence that has been caused” by Islamophobia within the Tory party during the general election campaign.

On Tuesday, five days after the vote that handed the party a solid Commons majority, the Conservatives appointed the former equality and human rights commissioner, Prof Swaran Singh, to lead the independent review into the party’s handling of complaints of any form of discrimination and prejudice.

Unfortunately, this U-turn is not impacting on the Tory Party in the same way as the controversy over anti-Semitism has hit Labour.
Anti -semitism was a weapon/tool that the Tories via the media used to attack Labour (the opposition). The media, owned mostly by their supporters, would not denigrate their own side. That does not win elections
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