More than 350 mosques urge Conservatives to launch internal inquiry into Islamophobia claims
More than 350 mosques urge Conservatives to launch internal inquiry into Islamophobia claims
Exclusive: Eleven umbrella organisations across the UK reiterate need for formal inquiry Click to followIndy Politics Muslim organisations have called for action after a dozen examples of Islamophobia from Conservative Party members in a two-month period were recently revealed ( Getty )
More than 350 mosques and Muslim organisations have written to the Conservative Party backing calls for a formal inquiry following a number of allegations of Islamophobia, The Independent can reveal.
The calls mirror and endorse those made by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), who wrote to the party last week urging a full audit to tackle the “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party”.
Now 11 separate umbrella organisations from all over the UK including Wales, Belfast, Scotland and Manchester have backed the calls for an urgent inquiry after a dozen examples of Islamophobia from party members in a two-month period from April were revealed. Read more Tory MP accused of Islamophobia after posting anti-Muslim article
An MCB spokesperson said: “We very much welcome the many councils of mosques who have written in support of our call for an inquiry into this issue.
“It reflects the importance that this issue holds in Muslim communities across the UK and the breadth of support for the Muslim Council of Britain.”
The latest revelation comes as Sajid Javid denied there was a problem with Islamophobia in the party on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show .
The home secretary instead attacked the MCB, claiming it did not represent British Muslims and had associations with extremism.
The claims are strongly denied by the MCB and its secretary general, Harun Khan, responded to the comments saying it indicated the “party had no interest in dealing with this matter”.
He said: “Rather than address the serious concerns raised by our message, Mr Javid has chosen to shoot the messenger.
“We have identified real weekly cases of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which the party has even acknowledged by suspending members.
“These real concerns of Islamophobia are shared by two Conservative Muslim peers, as well as voices across the spectrum, many of them Conservatives.” UK news in pictures UK news in pictures 1/50 2 June 2018 William Buick ridding Masar celebrates crossing the line and winning the Investec Derby race on Derby Day at Epsom Downs. Getty 2/50 1 June 2018 Traffic passes anti-Brexit signs on the County Derry/Londonderry Northern Ireland and County Donegal in the Irish Republic. Northern Ireland could be given joint EU and UK status and a ‘buffer zone’ on its border with the Republic, under new plans being drawn up by David Davis, according to reports. EPA 3/50 31 May 2018 Eleanor Crossey Malone displays an abortion pill packet after taking a pill as abortion rights campaign group ROSA, Reproductive Rights Against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity distribute abortion pills from a touring bus in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Flouting Northern Irish governmental laws which forbid the use of abortion pills the group are also protesting outside offices belonging to the main political parties in the province. Women in Northern Ireland have been prosecuted for buying abortion pills over the internet and it is illegal for a woman to have an abortion unless in special circumstances unlike the rest of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland voted in favour of pro-choice last week in a referendum. Getty 4/50 30 May 2018 West Midlands Police officers carrying out scene searches near to where a 15-year-old boy was fatally stabbed in Wolverhampton. PA 5/50 29 May 2018 A view at Westminster Abbey from the medieval Triforium that is hosting an exhibition in London. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, set more than 16 meters, (52 feet) above the Abbey floor in the medieval Triforium, will open to the public for the first time on June 11, displaying over 300 treasures from the Abbey’s collection which will tell the rich thousand-year history of the institution at Westminster Abbey. AP People enjoy the hot weather on Bournemouth Beach during bank holiday Monday in Dorset. PA Chris Ashton of the Barbarians scores against England at Twickenham. Getty Lightning strikes over the city of London. Reuters 9/50 25 May 2018 Rory Mcilroy took the clubhouse lead in to round three of the BMW PGA championship at Wentworth. Action Images via Reuters 10/50 24 May 2018 Alastair Cook batting against Pakistan during the first test match of the summer at Lord’s cricket ground, London. Getty 11/50 23 May 2018 Home Secretary Sajid Javid speaking at the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. PA 12/50 22 May 2018 Felix, two,sits next to messages and flowers left in Manchester, ahead of the Manchester Arena National Service of Commemoration at Manchester Cathedral to mark one year since the Manchester attack. PA 13/50 21 May 2018 Marcio and Andreia Gomes, parents of Logan Gomes, arrive for a commemoration hearing at the opening of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster, in London. Reuters 14/50 20 May 2018 Brackley Town celebrate after winning The Buildbase FA Trophy Final after they beat Bromley on penalties at Wembley Stadium. Getty 15/50 19 May 2018 Actress, Meghan Markle, reaches Prince Harry at the altar in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for their wedding service. Getty 16/50 18 May 2018 Workers from the Covent Garden branch of TGI Fridays on a picket line outside the restaurant as they strike in a dispute over pay. Members of Unite are taking action on Friday in a row over tips and payment of the minimum wage. PA 17/50 17 May 2018 A police officer talks to a homeless man in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. PA 18/50 16 May 2018 Wing Commander John Butcher, Commanding Officer of 617 Squadron, left, jokes with Britain’s last surviving ‘Dambuster’, Squadron Leader George “Johnny” Johnson, during an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the ‘Dambusters’ raids, at RAF Coningsby. The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was hoping to fly one of the two remaining Avro Lancaster bombers over the Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs, but high winds prevented the aircraft from taking off. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF and the 75th anniversary of the 617 Squadron Dambusters operation. The Dambuster raids, or ”peration Chastise’ was an attack on German dams on 16-17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, using an innovative ‘bouncing bomb’, which skimmed on the surface of the reservoir before hitting the dam wall and exploding. Getty 19/50 15 May 2018 President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks as British Prime Minister Theresa May listens during a press conference after their meeting at 10 Downing Street. Erdogan is in the UK for a three-day visit, which includes a closing lecture at the Tatlidil Forum in Oxford, an audience with The Queen and talks with Theresa May. Getty 20/50 14 May 2018 The funeral cortege of Alfie Evans goes past Everton’s Goodison Park ground in Liverpool. Doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool stopped providing life-support treatment to Alfie last month after his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, lost two rounds of fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. PA 21/50 13 May 2018 Daisy May Cooper, the winner of the Female in a Comedy award for ‘This Country’, with her Bafta. Getty 22/50 12 May 2018 Thousands of union members march through central London demanding a ‘new deal’ for workers, in an event organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Rex 23/50 11 May 2018 Jeremy Corbyn with shipbuilding apprentices at the Fairfield Ship Building Museum in Govan. During a speech a he called for navy shipbuilding contracts to stay in the UK. Getty 24/50 10 May 2018 Dominick Chilcott, right, British ambassador in Turkey, hands over a letter of apology from the UK government to Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj, at the British Consulate, in Istanbul. Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Boudchar, allege they were detained in southeast Asia in 2004 and sent to Libya to be interrogated by the regime of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Britain acknowledged Thursday that its intelligence agents played a role in the kidnapping and torture of an opponent of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a rare admission of wrongdoing by British spies. AP 25/50 9 May 2018 The coffin of former House of Commons speaker Lord Michael Martin, followed by his widow Mary, is carried from St Aloysius in Glasgow after his funeral. The former Labour MP died on Sunday April 29 after a short illness at the age of 72. PA 26/50 8 May 2018 Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Labour MP Heidi Alexander. Ms Alexander is standing down from Parliament after being confirmed as London’s deputy mayor for transport, replacing current deputy mayor Val Shawcross. GLA/PA 27/50 7 May 2018 Arsene Wenger bids farewell to Arsenal football club and the stadium he helped to build in more ways than one. It was Wenger’s final home game of after 22 years in charge. Arsenal sent him off with a 5-0 victory over Burnley. AFP/Getty Images Manchester City celebrate with the trophy after winning the Premier League title. Action Images via Reuters 29/50 5 May 2018 Anti-independence supporters wave Union Jack flags as thousands of demonstrators march in support of Scottish independence through the streets of Glasgow. AFP/Getty 30/50 4 May 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May with her supporters during a visit to Wandsworth Town Hall, where the Conservative Party retained control of Wandsworth Council in the local elections. Getty Jeremy Corbyn outside a polling station in Islington after voting in the local elections. Rex 32/50 2 May 2018 A memorial to George Michael outside his house in Highgate, north London. George Michael’s family have since asked fans to remove their tributes from outside the late singer’s former homes for the sake of his neighbours. PA Leicester Morrismen during May Day celebrations at Bradgate Park in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire. Reuters 34/50 30 April 2018 Sajid Javid outside the Home Office in Westminster after he was appointed as the new Home Secretary. PA 35/50 29 April 2018 Celtic celebrate after winning they confirmed winning the Scottish Premiership by beating rivals Rangers 5-0 at Celtic Park. Action Images via Reuters 36/50 28 April 2018 People release balloons outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, following the death on Saturday morning of Alfie Evans, who was being treated at the hospital. The 23-month-old died at 2.30am, parents Kate James and Thomas Evans said on Facebook. The youngster was at the centre of a legal battle over his treatment that touched hearts around the world. PA 37/50 27 April 2018 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, speaks with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, center, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels. NATO held its last major meeting in its old headquarters, with talks focused on strained ties with Russia, a fresh peace effort in Afghanistan and a new training mission for Iraq. AP 38/50 26 April 2018 A protester wearing a mask depicting Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, flanked by two protesters wearing angry emoji masks protest outside Portcullis House in central London. Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer appeared infront of British Members of Parliament on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in the wake of allegations that information on millions of its users was misused. EPA 39/50 25 April 2018 Members of the military work in the Maltings shopping area, close to the bench where Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill seven weeks ago. The area around the bench where the couple collapsed is one of nine sites to be cleaned in an operation that is likely to take several months. Getty 40/50 24 April 2018 A statue in honour of the first female Suffragette Millicent Fawcett is unveiled as Prime Minister Theresa May and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan look on during a ceremony in Parliament Square. The statue of womens suffrage leader Millicent Fawcett is the first monument of a woman and the first designed by a woman, Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing OBE, to take a place in parliament Square. Getty 41/50 23 April 2018 Prince William arrives at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital with his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte after his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a son. Reuters 42/50 22 April 2018 Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men’s elite race at the London Marathon 2018. Reuters Team England Athletes during the Commonwealth Games Team England Parade in Victoria Square, Birmingham. PA 44/50 20 April 2018 Varun Chopra of Essex during the Specsavers County Championship Division One match between Essex and Lancashire at the Chelmsford County Cricket Ground. The game is being played in the warmest April temperatures in 70 years. Getty A young boy cools off in the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. Getty 46/50 18 April 2018 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a selfie with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at City Hall in London, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. They discussed gender equality and issues affecting young people with London school children. PA 47/50 17 April 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries, at 10 Downing Street on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. AFP/Getty 48/50 16 April 2018 Aneira Thomas, the first baby to be born on the NHS, addresses the Unison Health Conference at the Brighton Centre. PA 49/50 15 April 2018 Sir Patrick Stewart addresses the crowd during the People’s Vote campaign launch on Brexit at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town. PA 50/50 14 April 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May gives a press conference at Downing Street following British military action, alongside US and France, against Syria. British jets fired missiles at a Syrian military base suspected of holding chemical weapons ingredients. AFP/Getty Images
The MCB’s calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia have been backed by Baroness Syeda Warsi, the former chairman of the Conservative Party, and Lord Mohamed Sheikh.
Lord Sheikh, who served as an adviser to David Cameron, has written directly to Theresa May describing the issue as a “matter of grave concern to the many Muslim members and supporters of the party”, The Independent revealed.
In his letter to No 10, Lord Sheikh highlights Zac Goldsmith’s London mayoral election campaign in 2016, Bob Blackman MP hosting a parliamentary visit by Tapan Ghosh, an Indian Hindu nationalist, and the lack of Muslim candidates in the last general election.
In response to the MCB’s calls for an inquiry a Conservative spokesman said: “We take all such incidents seriously, which is why we have suspended all those who have behaved inappropriately and launched immediate investigations.”