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From The Independent: The Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim violence, has reported an increase in incidents of abuse aimed at women wearing the niqab or hijab over the past week [since Boris Johnson‘s derogatory comments].
From The Guardian: Boris Johnson’s support among grassroots Conservatives, already resurgent in the wake of his resignation over Brexit, appears to have been bolstered further by his claim that Muslim women in burqas resemble letterboxes and bank robbers.
Tory activists have claimed that party members admire the former foreign secretary’s “straight talking” on the controversial issue and suggested his words implied he had listened to some of their concerns about community integration.
One senior grassroots activist said the membership was unlikely to be offended by his choice of language. “I doubt it. They’ll know what Boris is doing. They know how he operates – and they like it. The grassroots talk straight and polishing everything with Westminster-speak is not the way they do it. It won’t do him any harm.”
[Read full article on Guardian website…] Below: Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson
From The Guardian: Sayeeda Warsi has called on the Conservatives to launch a “full independent inquiry” into Islamophobia in the party and warned the Tories were pursuing a politically damaging policy of denial about the problem in its own ranks.
The former Conservative party chair accused incumbent Brandon Lewis of a “woefully inept” response to recent complaints and added that MP Zac Goldsmith should receive “mandatory diversity training” following his unsuccessful attempt to beat Sadiq Khan to the London mayoralty.
Writing for the Guardian, Lady Warsi said: “I’ve been warning my party of its ‘Muslim problem’ for far too long,” and said that elite indifference to the issue meant the Tories were stuck with a political strategy that amounted little more than “fuck the Muslims”.
From The Guardian: The Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Conservative party of hoping allegations of Islamophobia in its ranks will “magically go away” and complained that the party’s chairman has not responded to its call for an internal inquiry.
Three weeks after it first raised the issue, the group wrote again to Brandon Lewis on Tuesday highlighting further allegations of anti-Muslim prejudice within Tory ranks. It said it was not acceptable to turn “a blind eye to legitimate concerns about bigotry”.
The MCB said further examples of alleged Islamophobic abuse had emerged, including the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi saying she had been racially abused at meetings, and a pro-Tory Facebook group that contained a string of anti-Muslim threats.
Former Tory candidate quit party due to ‘uncomfortable lurch to the right which caused Islamophobia scandal’
From The Independent: A former Conservative parliamentary candidate who quit the party over its treatment of black and minority ethnic communities has said that, as the son of two refugees, he was “unable to look at himself in the mirror”.
Shazia Awan-Scully writes in the New Statesman: “There is a problem in the Conservative Party – and not just the trials of Brexit. It is the contempt many at both the grassroots and elected levels show towards Islam.
“…The Conservative Party and many within it seem to have a notion that Islam is not compatible with British values and therefore not compatible with the Conservative 1Party.
“…I realised was I could not pursue the values of openness, tolerance and inclusivity that are dear to me whilst a member of the Conservative Party. I’m proud to say I joined Welsh Labour earlier this year.”
Conservatives must launch urgent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party, Muslim Council of Britain demands
From The Independent: The Muslim Council of Britain has written to the Conservative Party calling for an urgent inquiry following “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party”.
From The Times: Conservative MP Bob Blackman, who hosted an anti-Muslim extremist in parliament last week, has been accused of “condoning extremism” after it emerged he previously retweeted a Twitter message by the far-right leader Tommy Robinson.
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