Hats off to the Jewish Socialists’ Group for its rapid response on this issue. JVL endorses the call for an independent inquiry.

Jewish Socialists back call for Inquiry into Tory Islamophobia

JSG website, 4 June 2018


 

The Jewish Socialists’ Group gives its full backing to the call by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) for an independent Inquiry to take place on “Islamophobia in the Tory Party”, and calls on other Jewish organisations to publicly back this call too.

We appeal especially to those Jewish organisations such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, Campaign Against Antisemitism, and the Jewish Labour Movement, which enthusiastically backed the “Enough is Enough” protests in March this year attacking alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party, to support this call. This will demonstrate that they seek to challenge all forms of racism across the political spectrum.

We call on organisations across the Jewish community and in the wider anti-racist movement to back the call for this Inquiry, whatever differences we or they may have with the MCB.

The Muslim Council of Britain first called for this Inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party in April 2016 when Zac Goldsmith, the Tory candidate in the London Mayoral election used dog-whistle Islamophobic tropes in his contest against the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim. This demand had very little coverage in the mainstream media then, as they were prioritising coverage of allegations of antisemitism against Labour which largely proved false.

The demand has been reiterated in the last week, with backing from a leading Muslim Tory, Baroness Warsi, as more information has emerged about the number of Tory council candidates who were suspended for racism in the run-up to the recent local election. It is also in response to the Tories’ decision to allow Rosemary Carroll, a former Tory councillor who had been suspended for sharing an appalling racist joke likening Asians to stinking dogs, and then sat as an Independent, to rejoin the Tory Party just days before the election. As a result the Tories took the council by one seat from no overall control.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group calls for the Inquiry, should it be instituted, to be broad enough to investigate the Tories’ formal links with Islamophobic, anti-Roma and antisemitic parties through the Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, which David Cameron helped to set up in 2009. The Tories’ key partner in this group is the Polish Law and Justice Party which has been widely criticised for its attitudes towards both Jewish and Muslim communities. The Inquiry should report on any Tory statements and actions that have been taken to stem the racism of their allied parties in Europe since 2009.