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08 March 2020 - 15:54
News ID: 449475
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The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said Thursday it has renewed its call for the UK’s human rights watchdog to investigate the ruling Conservative Party over allegations of Islamophobia.

RNA - The Muslim advocacy group provided the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) with a dossier implicating 300 people in or associated with the party with Islamophobia, Anadolu news agency reported.

This is the second time the MCB has reported the ruling party to the EHRC, the first being in May 2019. The rights watchdog has neither investigated the Conservatives nor responded to the MCB, they said in a statement.

“Having furnished the Equality and Human Rights Commission with evidence of over 100 incidents of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party ten months ago, we find it extraordinary that the Commission has failed to give any response, let alone inform us and British Muslims as to whether action will be taken,” said MCB Secretary General Harun Khan.

“Two years ago, we estimated that there were cases of Islamophobia being identified in the Party on a weekly basis. Now, with over 300 documented incidents, it appears our estimation was too low,” he added.

In its updated dossier compiling allegations of Islamophobia, the MCB singled out the prime minister’s controversial Special Advisor Dominic Cummings, who presided over the publication of a picture of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with a bomb in his turban while he was responsible for the right-wing Spectator magazine.

They also highlighted the hiring, and subsequent firing, of No 10 aide Andrew Sabisky, who had previously made controversial comments on eugenics, women and welfare claimants and expressed harsh views on what he saw as the threat of Britain’s growing population.

The statement said that Thor Halland, the chairman of a local conservative association, called for Muslims to be banned, and two other Conservative party members called for Muslims to be thrown off bridges and sterilized.

These were just a sample of the 300 plus incidents the MCB compiled. Some of the allegations dated back to prospective parliamentary candidates who have since been elected.

MP Anthony Browne responded to a question about Muslim leaders’ opposition to the Iraq War by questioning British Muslims’ loyalty to the UK.

Another MP, Karl McCartney, retweeted posts by far-right leader Tommy Robinson. McCartney has since apologized.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said his party has a “zero tolerance approach” and pledged to hold an internal investigation into allegations of Islamophobia.

The MCB said in its statement that the Conservatives have “failed to take meaningful action on its problem of Islamophobia”.

The Conservatives reneged on a pledge to hold a dedicated, internal investigation into Islamophobia within the party, instead promising one into all forms of discrimination, a move seen as watering-down their promise in the eyes of critics.

The MCB also highlighted the concerns of several prominent Conservative Muslims, “including Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former co-chair of the Party, Lord Sheikh, founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum, and Sajjad Karim, former Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, who spoke about a senior serving minister having made Islamophobic comments about him”.

Khan said, "There is no doubt that the Conservative Party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread. The Party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit. This results in clear discrimination against Muslims because of their religion. Islamophobia is never acceptable, yet this dossier cites hundreds of individuals – including many in significant positions of power and influence – who have made horribly offensive comments about Muslims that would not be tolerated for any other section in our society."

“The EHRC has a duty to uphold the Equality Act, and this responsibility includes investigating where there are allegations of discrimination. The absence of meaningful action by the Conservative Party despite the wealth of evidence makes it all the more important that the EHRC recognizes the impact of this level of Islamophobia in our governing party, and takes swift action,” he said.

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