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THE Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called on Britain’s human-rights watchdog to investigate “systemic and widespread” Tory Islamophobia today as it submitted a thick dossier of complaints against party members.
The council’s document details allegations against 300 members of the party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) — double the number of incidents detailed in an initial report handed to the commission in May last year.
Despite a “wealth of evidence” of an “islamophobia crisis” in the party, MCB secretary general Harun Khan claimed the watchdog failed to respond to its calls to launch a probe.
He described the lack of action as “extraordinary.”
"There is no doubt that the Conservative Party has an islamophobia crisis — it is institutional, systemic and widespread,” Mr Khan said.
“The party's response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit.
"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.”
MCB hopes that the updated dossier will pressure the watchdog to open a probe into the party.
New additions to the report include allegations against top Tory aide Dominic Cummings that he played on "fears of immigration and hate against Muslims” while orchestrating the Vote Leave campaign, by spreading the false claim that Turkey was joining the EU.
Another is against new Tory MP Dehenna Davison who was recently pictured with two far-right activists, one of whom was allegedly pictured burning a Koran.
The Tories have refused to open an investigation into the incident despite calls from Labour and anti-racism campaigners.
Stand up to Racism said it “fully supported” the MCB’s bid to pressure the EHRC to open a probe.
Group co-convenor Weyman Bennett told the Morning Star that the party’s failure to tackle the issue — highlighted most recently by Ms Davison’s case — showed that “islamophobia is accepted at the very heart of government.”
“Islamophobia is reinforced by the government in legislation and especially under its Prevent programme which targets Muslims and has led to misconceptions in British communities that Muslims are a danger,” he said.
“Boris Johnson’s speech in which he compared Muslim women to letterboxes went unchallenged and this resulted in an increase in attacks on Muslims on the street.”
The government has repeatedly faced accusations that it has not taken allegations of islamophobia within its ranks seriously.
This was highlighted last year when the Tories backtracked on an election promise to launch an investigation into islamophobia, instead announcing a probe into all forms of prejudice.
The probe specifically into islamophobia was shelved despite allegations against senior members of the party. including the Prime Minister.
“Considering their leader has expressed islamaphobic views I have no confidence whatsoever that the party’s own investigation will root out the problem,” Mr Bennett added.
“It has to be done by an independent body external to the government.”
However, the campaigner also reserved criticism of the EHCR which he accused of being “selective” in what it chooses to investigate.
An EHRC spokeswoman said the watchdog was still waiting for the Tories to reveal the terms of its inquiry while considering a decision.
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