GeneralPress Releases

Response to comments by former Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim

20 September 2019

In response to the news this morning of the suspension of a number of Conservative Party members over Islamophobic posts and former Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim reporting being in conversations with Islamophobic content being directed towards him by senior Conservative Party members, Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:

“We are not surprised by the latest revelations. They are a manifestation of institutional Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, and corroborate the polling done demonstrating the scale of the issue. An independent and specific inquiry into Islamophobia specifically is long overdue. Sadly the Conservative response has been woeful. From denial, through to now a reluctant commitment to a broad and watered down investigation that we fear will do nothing to address this problem.

“The fact former MEP Sajjad Karim has confirmed a current serving minister has made Islamophobic comments directly about him, is extremely serious and indicative of the scale of the problem. Investigating this minister immediately is essential will be the latest test of the apparent resolve of the Party. If no action is taken, and instead they remain a minister, it will yet again demonstrate its failure to take this problem seriously.

“As much as it continues to deny this, it is becoming increasingly evident that the Conservative Party’s problem with Islamophobia is endemic.

“A Hope Not Hate poll earlier this year showed a significant proportion of Conservative Party members polled had Islamophobic views.

“And we have had senior Conservatives, starting with the Prime Minister, current ministers such as Zac Goldsmith and Nadine Dorries who all have seriously contributed to this issue. With instances like these coming to light more and more regularly and at all levels of the Party, this is a problem which it cannot deny and obfuscate any longer.”