More than 350 mosques call for inquiry into Islamophobia within Conservative party

Muslims praying at Parliament Square, London.

More than 350 Muslim organisations and mosques have collectively written to the Conservative Party urging them to launch an internal inquiry following allegations of Islamophobia. 

The calls for an inquiry have supported those made by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) last week urging a full investigation to tackle the “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party”.

Within days, at least 11 independent Muslim umbrella organisations from across the UK have backed the calls for an internal inquiry after numerous examples of Islamophobia from Conservative party members in a two-month period from April were revealed.

An MCB spokesperson told The Independent: “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.”

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid denied there was a problem with Islamophobia in the party on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Instead, the home secretary criticised the MCB, claiming the group did not represent British Muslims and had associations with “extremists”.

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The MCB have strongly rejected the claims and its secretary general, Harun Khan, responded to the home secretary’s accusations by saying that 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.”

The MCB’s calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia have been backed by Baroness Syeeda Warsi, the former chairman of the Conservative Party, and Lord Mohamed Sheikh.

In response to the MCB’s calls for an internal inquiry, a Conservative spokesman told The Independent: “We take all such incidents seriously, which is why we have suspended all those who have behaved inappropriately and launched immediate investigations.”

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