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Muslim groups have ‘no trust’ in Tory Islamophobia report

MUSLIM groups have said they do not trust the conclusions of a report into racism in the Tory Party, which they said failed to acknowledge the term Islamophobia.  

The indendent report has been branded a whitewash by campaigners and Muslim organisations after its author Professor Swaran Singh concluded that no evidence of institutional racism in the party was found. 

The fallout from the report, published on Tuesday, continued today as calls grew for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to launch its own investigation into racism in the Tory Party.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) said it was astonished that the report had followed the deeply concerning Conservative Party approach of not acknowledging the term Islamophobia, instead placing it in inverted commas.

“This alone removes any trust in the independence of this internal party process,” the group said in a statement today. 

MAB added that the report, which had a narrow remit limited to investigating the party’s complaint procedure, failed to question key witnesses or members, despite a YouGov poll finding more than half harbour negative views towards Muslims.

“In doing so it fails to assign responsibility or hold to account those involved in engaging and allowing Islamophobia to grow within the party,” the group said. 

The report was also criticised on Tuesday by Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi, who said it did not go far enough, reiterating that the Conservatives do have a problem with institutional racism. 

Prof Singh’s 44,000-page report found that two thirds of complaints received by the party related to anti-Muslim discrimination.

Comments made by PM Boris Johnson about women wearing burkas and Tory peer Zac Goldsmith were singled out as giving an “impression” of Islamophobia. 

But Muslim groups said Prof Singh’s criticisms did not reflect the seriousness of the discriminatory comments made by senior Tories.

Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) chief executive Azhar Qayum told the BBC today: “To talk about something that serious at the high end of the party as giving an impression of Islamophobia as opposed to actually being Islamophobia … these are clear examples that should have been castigated.”

Mend, MAB, the Muslim Council of Britain and Lady Warsi are now calling for the EHRC to open its own investigation into racism in the Tory Party similar to the controversial probe it carried out on anti-semitism allegations in Labour. 

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