UK Muslim Council points out Islamophobia in Tories, demands action
The Head of the Muslim Council of Britain's remarks have caused a wave of voices to take Islamophobia within the Tory party seriously after Johnson's silence on the issue.
The Head of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Zara Mohammed, stressed that UK leadership candidates must address Islamophobia within the British Conservative Party. The MCB is the UK's largest, most diverse Muslim umbrella organization.
Read more: British Media Biased against Muslims: Report
Mohammed's remarks have caused a wave of voices to take Islamophobia within the Tory party seriously after outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's silence on the issue.
She argues that Johnson should have apologized in his resignation speech to the Muslim community, asserting that "no concrete steps" have been taken to deal with Islamophobia in Britain, despite that the Council recorded over 300 instances within the Tory party since 2019.
The remarks came after Nusrat Ghani, a Conservative MP, argued that the party is systemically Islamophobic and that when she was fired from her transport minister post, her "Muslimness" was brought up.
"I have written a great deal about the problem of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry in the Conservative Party. I'm afraid at the very top is Boris Johnson himself, who's been guilty of a series of terrible remarks," said Peter Oborne, a British political journalist and author.
Oborne divulged that Islamophobia has been tolerated for a long time, and that the vile culture, which he described as "very ugly," is in its highest ranks among the Tory MPs, counselors and Tory members. The Tories, according to the journalist, often adopt "wild conspiracy theories about Muslims which are quite alien to an advanced Western society which claims to be tolerant."
Referring to his book called The Fate of Abraham: Why the West is Wrong about Islam, Oborne explains how Policy Exchange, a Conservative British think tank, contributed to the dismantling of tolerance and multiculturalism in the UK as a tradition "with Muslims as its main targets."
"I describe the various ways in which an image of Islam and an image of Muslims are being constructed in the West. This has been done by media, is being done by politicians, and also by think-tanks," he said.
The majority of British Muslims vote for the Labour Party, so the Conservative Party has been throwing attempts to gain more Muslim votes: In 2019, Conservative MP Sajid Javid managed to convince other candidates in the leadership election to promise to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia. However, Johnson started drawing back on those efforts.
In 2019, Downing Street appointed Qari Asim, an independent advisor - but, he was recently removed from the post.
"I cannot answer why the government decided to remove me from the office," he said. "You know, the perception is that the government did not want to tackle the issue of defining Islamophobia."
"I was appointed as the government's adviser to define Islamophobia in July 2019, so almost three years ago, and since then, no progress has been made," he said. "The perception is that by removing me from the office, the government has closed the door to defining Islamophobia."
In a Europe with increasingly conservative policies that favor discrimination over unity, Islamophobia comes to present itself as merely a consequence of British comprador beliefs and policies.