Islamophobia in the Conservative Party: Muslim Council of Britain Condemns Continued Obfuscation
The Muslim Council of Britain has described the claim by Michael Gove that the Conservative Party will establish an independent inquiry into Islamophobia as “outright dishonest”.
Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, claimed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday 5th November that the Conservative Party would “have an independent inquiry into Islamophobia and it will be established before the end of the year.”
However Mr Gove’s potentially welcome commitment was swiftly rendered false when multiple Conservative Party contradicted Mr Gove and re-affirmed its wilful determination to ignore the problem by instead holding a watered-down, internally conducted investigation that would broadly look into discrimination and prejudice, not specifically at Islamophobia. This, despite the fact that over 100 incidences of Islamophobia has been identified in the Conservative Party.
There now seems to be a pattern whereby Conservative Party leaders say one thing when confronted about Islamophobia, only to scale back on their commitments. During the Conservative Party leadership election, all leadership candidates, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, committed to an independent inquiry into Islamophobia. Since beginning his premiership, however, this inquiry has been scaled back significantly.
Commenting, the MCB’s Secretary General, Harun Khan, said:
“In classic Orwellian double-speak, Michael Gove yesterday confirmed the Conservative Party will hold an inquiry into Islamophobia – but one that doesn’t look into Islamophobia and isn’t independent. This is not just another case of the Conservative Party obfuscating the issue of Islamophobia within its ranks. It only re-affirms that the Conservative Party has zero intention of dealing with the problem.
“This is simply not good enough, and Muslims across Britain deserve better. Islamophobia in the Conservative Party is systemic and institutional, rife in every level in the party, including: the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, members of the Cabinet, the London Mayoral candidate in 2016, MPs, councillors and ordinary party members.
“The Conservative Party knows it should be holding an independent inquiry into Islamophobia, in addition to an inquiry into prejudice and discrimination. If it didn’t feel it was important or needed, Michael Gove would not have tried so hard to commit to it without having to commit to it. Any further dithering and dishonesty is simply unacceptable.”