Conservative Party launches review into Islamophobia claims

Conservative Party launches review into Islamophobia claims
2 min read
18 December, 2019
The Conservative Party launched an independent review Wednesday into its response to complaints of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination within the party.
Boris Johnson apologised for “all the hurt and offence” that was caused to Muslims. [Getty]

The Conservative Party launched an independent review Wednesday into its response to complaints of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination within the party.

The review will be spearheaded by Professor Swaran Singh, a former commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

During the campaign leading up to the general election, Boris Johnson's apology for "all the hurt and offence" that was caused to Muslims by the Conservative Party, has prompted the call for such an imminent review.

The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Harun Khan, responded to the election result by calling for the right-wing prime minister to lead with unity and reassure Muslims of their place in society.

"We entered the election campaign period with long standing concerns about bigotry in our politics and our governing party. Now we worry that Islamophobia is 'oven-ready' for government," he said.

Once the review was announced, the MCB tweeted that "this appointment is at risk of being seen in the same light as Conservatives customary approach to Islamophobia, that of denial, dismissal and deceit".

The MCB called for a separate investigation into purely Islamophobia claims, and many are criticising the appointment of Professor Singh. Miqdaas Versi, spokesperson for the MCB has called Singh “problematic.”

Baroness Sayeed Warsi, ex co-Chair of the Conservative Party, contested Singh’s views on Muslims on Twitter citing an article the professor wrote for Spiked magazine on Muslims in Kashmir. She also said her party "must start healing its relationship with British Muslims."

Dr Zubaida Haque from the Runymede Trust has claimed that Professor Singh does contests racism as a concept and does not believe in institutional racism.

During the general election campaigns, both parties were under scrutiny for internal discriminatory accusations. The Labour Party was heavily criticised for the handling of anti semitism accusations.

In its 2018 report, Islamophobia watchdog Tell MAMA UK identified a siginificant spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the country in August after Johnson wrote a newspaper column referring to veiled Muslim women as "letterboxes" and "bank-robbers".

In the week following his article, anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375 percent.

The Muslim Council of Britain accused the BBC on Tuesday of neglecting to report on the full extent of Islamophobia in the party during the pre-election coverage, claiming it was tantamount to "incitement" against Muslims in the UK.


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