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TORY Islamophobia has been ignored in this general election, hundreds of writers, politicians and activists have warned in an open letter.
Created by online publication Gal-Dem on Wednesday, it demands “a formal, transparent investigation” of the “institutional disregard for racial and religious minorities” in the Conservative Party.
Signatories include Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan, the Jews against Boris campaign group, National Union of Students president Zamzam Ibrahim and End Violence Against Women Coalition co-chair Huda Jawad as well as doctors, lawyers, academics, researchers, artists, trade unionists and students.
The letter warns that Prime Minister Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to “pull the rug” on the inquiry into Islamophobia and racism within his party, adding that it is “incredibly disingenuous” to allow the Tories to “masquerade” as an anti-racist party.
Following Mr Johnson’s comments comparing Muslim women who wear the niqab to “bank robbers” and “letterboxes,” there was a 375 per cent surge in Islamophobic hate crimes, monitoring group Tell Mama revealed in September.
Mr Johnson has consistently refused to apologise for these comments, and today said he was very proud of his “record combatting extremism” during ITV’s This Morning show.
Multiple Tory councillors have been suspended after they were exposed for sharing Islamophobic content online, including a call to ban mosques, using terms such as “Islamist rape gangs” and “Somali scum,” as well as expressing support for far-right hate preachers like so-called “Tommy Robinson.”
Some of these councillors were reinstated after allegedly attending one day of “diversity training,” issuing an apology or even doing nothing at all.
The letter also states that the government has proven to have an institutionally racist approach through its mistreatment of the Windrush generation to the profiling and criminalisation of Muslim aid workers in Syria.
It also draws attention to the mainstream media targeting of the Labour Party with allegations of anti-semitism, and calls for the questioning of the Tories to “be as persistent and thorough.”
“Minority communities must not be drawn into sidelining or comparing each other’s fights for justice,” the letter reads.
“To the contrary, we will mobilise together. We are striving to treat these issues the same in all parties and realms of public life.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid defended his party’s handling of Islamophobia on BBC’s Today programme today, saying they have a “zero policy” and that the Prime Minister would “never ever” tolerate it.
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