The Muslim Council of Great Britain has criticised the Equality & Human Rights Commission for putting off launching an official investigation into allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, despite having been handed a detailed dossier of more than 300 allegations against Tory members.
The MCB is now demanding ‘swift action’ on the claims, which involve Conservative MPs, councillors, government advisers and party members, and include numerous incidents which have already been featured in the media, as well as a raft of new allegations which include:
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.
It also condemns the Conservative Party’s failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski after he spoke at an event alongside far-right leaders, and his fellow MP Karl McCartney, who shared Islamophobic and antisemitic social media content by far-right hatemongers Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins.
Secretary General Harun Khan said the EHRC has failed to give any response to the MCB’s first formal complaint in May 2019, and says it is ‘extraordinary’ that the watchdog has taken no action in the 10 months since.
“There is no doubt that the Conservative party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread” he said,
“The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit - 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”
The EHRC say they are waiting for information about the promised Tory inquiry (which they call ‘independent’ even though it will be carried out BY the party), which will supposedly cover ‘all types of prejudice’ but stops short of focusing specifically on Islamophobia – despite all candidates, including Boris Johnson, pledging to do just that in last year’s Conservative leadership election.
“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” said a spokesperson,
“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”