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Monday, February 26, 2024

Tories under attack for Islamophobia

I have written about this many times before a few years ago, at a time when Labour's problem with anti-semitism was being echoed by the Tories suffering from Islamophobia, and now we are back full circle.

The Independent reports that the UK’s largest Muslim group has written to the Conservative Party demanding an investigation into claims of “structural Islamophobia” within its ranks.

The paper tells us that the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) have said it addressed a letter to Conservative chair, Richard Holden, on Sunday after what it alleged was “a week of inflammatory statements and Islamophobia from senior figures in the party”:

The body pointed to comments made by the former Tory party deputy chair Lee Anderson, who had the whip suspended after drawing widespread criticism for claiming on Friday that “Islamists” have “got control” of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

It also highlighted remarks made this week by the former home secretary Suella Braverman as well as the former prime minister Liz Truss.

Writing to Mr Holden, Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the MCB, said: “Our view is that the Islamophobia in the party is institutional, tolerated by the leadership and seen as acceptable by great swathes of the party membership.”

The letter criticised the Tories for removing the whip from Mr Anderson only after he refused to apologise for the anti-Muslim rant on GB News, which Mr Khan said was “Islamophobic, racist” and poured “fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”.

Mr Anderson, who was deputy Tory chairman until last month, said on Saturday: “Following a call with the Chief Whip, I understand the difficult position that I have put both he and the Prime Minister in with regard to my comments. I fully accept that they had no option but to suspend the whip in these circumstances.”

However, speaking to the BBC earlier on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden refused to rule out the possibility of Mr Anderson returning from his suspension.

The MCB also accused Ms Braverman of falling into a “well-trodden Islamophobic path” in her assertion that “Islamists are in charge” of Britain in a Daily Telegraph article on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the MCB condemned Ms Truss for remaining silent as Steve Bannon described the far-right’s Tommy Robinson as a “hero”.

It comes as new figures show the number of Islamophobic incidents has skyrocketed since the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas and the retaliatory Israeli bombardment of Palestine. London charity Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) said there was a 365 per cent increase in reports of Islamophobia in October.

A report earlier this week from Tell Mama – another body that records anti-Muslim hate incidents – found there were 2,010 incidents between 7 October and 7 February, more than triple the 600 reported during the same period the year before.

Rishi Sunak has so far failed to address Mr Anderson’s comments or surging Islamophobia across Britain, despite speaking publicly about a rise in “prejudice and antisemitism”.

The difference this time, with the Tories anyway, is that many of us are beginning to get the impression that the latest round of Islamophobia is deliberate, an attempt to attract votes from a certain demographic. If that is the case then it is a disgrace.
There are reports on the media (Sky) that the VAST amounts of money that the Conservatives have obtained via changes as to where/how they get their election funds is being spent on META targeting certain groups of voters. Anti Islam groups/ages ARE being targeted IT IS deliberate.
Maybe Clegg at Meta could do something about the biasness of the situation. Maybe he could steer some of his money into LibDem coffers. We do need it to fund our target seats.
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