Wednesday, February 21

Johnson named in complaint on alleged Tory Islamophobia



Britain’s largest Muslim organisation has called for a formal investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

Since the Westminster attack in March 2017, 14 Islamist and five far-right terror plots have been foiled in the UK.

Last week, the Home Affairs Committee was told that more than half of rising hate crime offences recorded by police in England and Wales are committed against Muslims.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) sent more than 20 pages of evidence to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the wake of the government’s refusal to adopt a proposed definition on Islamophobia.

Its complaint accused the Tories of ignoring calls for an independent inquiry on anti-Muslim hatred and failing to take action against Islamophobes in its ranks.

Boris Johnson, who could be the next prime minister, and MPs including Bob Blackman, Zac Goldsmith, Michael Fabricant, Andrew Rosindell and Philip Hollobone were named in the dossier.

Harun Rashid Khan, secretary general of the MCB, said: The concerns of Muslims at large about Islamophobia within the Conservative Party have fallen on deaf ears.

We have taken this step after an unprecedented number of cases have been brought to our attention, suggesting a culture within the Conservative Party where Islamophobia is not only widespread, but institutional. We now request the EHRC to look at all the evidence and investigate this matter with great urgency.

The complaint includes allegations of Islamophobia among MPs, an atmosphere of hostility against Muslim Conservatives, failed complaints processes and an overall denial that Islamophobia is a major issue for the party.

Miqdaad Versi, of the MCB, questioned whether any of the contenders in the Tory leadership race would prioritise dealing with the sheer scale of Islamophobia that has consumed the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives were condemned after reinstating some councillors who had been suspended over racist or prejudiced social media posts.​

The government’s commitment to combating anti-Muslim hatred was questioned in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, when mosques revealed they had been refused security funding.

While the government doubled the pot open for bids from different places of worship, it did not bring the funding up to the £14m awarded specifically to Jewish institutions.

Muslim worshippers outside a mosque were targeted in the Finsbury Park terror attack and a man who planned to bomb another mosque in south London was jailed in April.

Other incidents have seen women wearing headscarves run over in revenge for Islamist atrocities, and a man plough a car into an Indian restaurant because he wanted to kill a Muslim.