Huff Post reports claims of Tory Islamophobia while most of the press is silent

JVL Introduction

The print and broadcast media’s gentle handling of even the most blatant abuses by the Tory Party stands in sharp contrast to their enthusiasm to uncover or invent any Labour Party error.

Tory Islamophobia gets occasional, short-lived attention when Sayeda Warsi raises her voice but otherwise a blanket of silence. The Board of Deputies et al rarely try to call Tories to account for antisemitism and playing footsie with known racists and even neo-Nazis.

Credit to Huff Post for not just reporting the MCB dossier but also doing some investigation of their own. We note the Guardian also covered this on 5 March.

This article was originally published by Huff Post on Thu 5 Mar 2020. Read the original here.

Dossier Of More Than 300 Tory Islamophobia Allegations Submitted To Watchdog

Muslim Council of Britain says the the Tories have a “systemic and widespread” Islamophobia crisis and calls for EHRC probe.

A new dossier of claims that more than 300 Tories have been Islamophobic has been submitted to the human rights watchdog to persuade it to investigate the party.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has handed the Equality and Human Rights Commission a detailed file including claims involving MPs, councillors, members and government advisers.

The document collects together scores of previously publicised incidents and allegations while uncovering new claims, including:

  • A former councillor calling for “unconditional surrender” by Muslims, who they label “brutes who beat, kill and maim young women”;
  • A local party association chair who called for Muslims to be banned;
  • A member who called for Muslims to be thrown from bridges;
  • Another member who called for the forcible sterilisation of Muslims.

Elsewhere, it includes criticism of the failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski for speaking at a conference alongside far-right leaders.

End Hate: End Islamophobia

The MCB also questions the failure to investigate MP Karl McCartney after he shared posts by Tommy Robinson – the English Defence League co-founder whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – and Katie Hopkins that “included anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic material”, despite his apology.

And it highlights HuffPost UK’s revelations that new Tory MP Dehenna Davison had been photographed with two far-right activists, including a former activist banned from the party after making Islamophobic comments online and organising a far-right protest.

MCB secretary general Harun Khan said the Tories have a “systemic and widespread” Islamophobia crisis and accused the party of “denial, dismissal and deceit”.

He criticised the EHRC for having “failed to give any response” to its first formal call to investigate in May when it submitted allegations about 150 individuals, and urged it to now take “swift action”.

The Tories have committed to an inquiry into all forms of discrimination within the party but have resisted calls to set up an independent inquiry into Islamophobia specifically.

Khan said it was “extraordinary” that the watchdog has not announced whether it will take action in the 10 months since the first document was submitted.

“There is no doubt that the Conservative party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread.

“The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit,” he said.

“This results in clear discrimination against Muslims because of their religion.

“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 still waiting for the Tories to reveal the terms of its inquiry while considering a decision.

“We are actively considering what, if any, action we may take in relation to the handling of Islamophobia and other discrimination within the Conservative party,” she said.

“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.”

A Conservative party spokesperson said: “The Conservative Party has a robust approach to discrimination of any kind, and consistently takes decisive action to deal with any incidents of hatred, abuse or intimidation.

“We are holding an independent review which is looking at how we can improve our processes – to make sure that any instances are isolated, and that there are thorough processes in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.”

The EHRC is currently investigating Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism.

Comments (4)

  • Mary Davies says:

    One law for the Tories another for Labour! Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

  • Tim says:

    I think it was Peter Oborne who, last year in the Guardian, related a conversation he’d had with a senior BBC executive at a party, who’d said they thought it would be wrong of the BBC to undermine public confidence in the govt of the day by exposing their misdeeds and hypocricies, hence the easy ride the Tories have been getting.

    Quite why the Tories should want to go after such supporters, with threats to de-criminalise non-payment of the licence fee, amazes me!

  • Gerry Glyde says:

    Whilst we should be encouraged that at last some focus is given to Islamophobia in the Tories, we must not forget the shameful lack of transparency of the Tory Party to the 2016 Home Affairs Committee enquiry. The leader of the party repeatedly refused to attend the Committee and give evidence. Eventually Eric Pickles decided he would attend and claimed ludicrously that antisemitism in the Party had been eradicated in the 1960s.

    When the party finally agreed to provide wrtten evidence, it consisted of a mere 9 pages, of which 3 were all about alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party in particular and the left in general. We must not lose track of Tory antisemitism

  • William Johnston says:

    I think it is also important that our own response be measured, accurate, understanding, and not based on any sense of trying to revenge ourselves on the right wing for their equivalent treatment of the Labour Party.

Comments are now closed.