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TORY peer Baroness Warsi said today that the Conservative Party has a “deep problem” with Islamophobia, after dozens of Tories were suspended pending an investigation into alleged anti-Muslim hate.
Twenty five sitting and former Tory councillors are reportedly among those identified, in documents obtained by The Guardian, as allegedly posting or endorsing online Islamophobic posts.
Posts include calls for mosques to be banned, claims that Islam intends to “turn the world Muslim” and references to Muslims as “barbarians” and “the enemy within.”
Ms Warsi accused her own party of being “dismissive” of the issue — four years after problems were first brought to light.
She also said she is “disappointed” that the party is “trying to dilute” the investigation into Islamophobia by holding an inquiry into all forms of prejudice.
Ms Warsi told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there had been “dossier after dossier, dozens and dozens of cases presented with the most vile evidence of racism within the party at every level from MPs all the way down to our ordinary activists.”
The recent dossier, compiled by an anonymous anti-racism campaigner using the Twitter handle @MatesJacob, increases pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who has been condemned for saying that niqab-wearing Muslim women look like “letterboxes” — to hold an independent inquiry specifically into Islamophobia within his party.
Shadow equalities minister Naz Shah said: “The Conservative Party is rife with Islamophobia, racism and bigotry from top to bottom, but we have no faith that Boris Johnson will do anything about it.”
Muslim Council of Britain secretary-general Harun Khan said that the type of Islamophobic comments made by Tory members now coming to light are a “regular occurrence” and are “endemic” in the party.
He said: “From members at the grassroots to councillors, MPs, members of Cabinet and the Prime Minister, there are hugely concerning levels of hatred against Muslims throughout the party.
“Yet the Conservative Party still refuses to hold an independent investigation into Islamophobia despite the Prime Minister committing to this and instead deems it appropriate to gloss over the issue with a broad inquiry into racism.”
He also said that the Tories lack transparency on how many members have been suspended over allegations of Islamophobia and how many have been readmitted.
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