From The Independent: The Conservatives have been accused of “giving a license to bigotry” by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) after the party ruled Boris Johnson’s comments on Muslim women wearing burqas were “respectful and tolerant”.
From Daily Mirror: The Tories have picked as their London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey, who has a track record of making offensive comments on a range of issues from race relations to single parenthood.
From The Independent: The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “very concerning” that the Conservatives had chosen to defend Hungary’s “appalling track record” which they pointed out included both “vivid antisemitism” and islamophobia.
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 Vice: A high profile Conservative Party grassroots activist forum is littered with Islamophobic comments.
Blog posts about the Tory Islamophobia scandal on the ConservativeHome website received comments which compared the burka to “SS uniforms” and talked of the need to discuss “how to eradicate the cancer” of “Islam and Middle Eastern cultures”. One commenter said Muslims should be “explaining and justifying what their faith has to offer civilised society”, while another seemed to threaten Muslims.
Commenters came up with more offensive epithets for burqa wearers, with one saying they are “going about looking like Guinness bottles or Darth Vader”. A fair few commenters were worried about wearers of the burqa having vitamin D deficiency.
ConservativeHome calls itself “the home of conservatism” and is popular among the Tory grassroots. It publishes a number of high profile Conservative commentators and hosts events at the Conservative Party conference. In 2016, Theresa May attended the ConservativeHome conference party.
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.”
From London Evening Standard: The imam hailed for his heroism in the Finsbury Park terror attack today condemns the Government’s “lacklustre” efforts to fight Islamophobia. Mohammed Mahmoud accuses ministers of failing to show “meaningful engagement” with the Muslim community that is feeling increasingly “vulnerable”.
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.
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”.
“…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.”
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.