Tory Party members suspended over online Islamophobia

A number of Conservative Party members have been suspended for posting or endorsing Islamophobic material online, the BBC reports.

The broadcaster highlighted over 20 cases to the party, which said all those found to be members who shared or supported anti-Muslim posts on Twitter and Facebook were suspended immediately.

However, the officials would not reveal the exact number of members suspended.

The incidents ranged from individuals “liking” anti-Muslim pictures or statements to regular Islamophobic posts by people who said they were members of the Tory party.

Among the content that has been shared on social media included:

  • A Conservative councillor responded to a tweet in March, writing: “Islam and slavery are partners in crime.”
  • An independent parish councillor, who stated he had worked on Boris Johnson’s 2012 Mayoral campaign, posted: “Islam is THE religion of hate (sic)” and “Muslims hate = free speech (sic).”
  • Other incidents included individuals posting comments such as “Muslim scum” and “I don’t want Muslims in this country”.
The MCB’s Harun Khan

A Conservative spokesman said: “All those found to be party members have been suspended immediately, pending investigation. The Conservative Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind.

“That’s why we are already establishing the terms of an investigation to make sure that such instances are isolated and robust processes are in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.”

There have been repeated calls for the party to hold an independent inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia among members, due to previous incidents that have been highlighted to the party and in the media.

Since 2018, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has been calling for the Conservatives to launch an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia, and in May it formally asked the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to hold one.

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…

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.”

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