More than 350 mosques and Muslim organizations across Britain have called on the ruling Conservative Party to launch a formal inquiry into increasing instances of Islamophobia within its ranks, according to a new report.
Up to 11 separate umbrella organizations from Wales, Belfast, Scotland, Manchester and other parts of the UK have asked Prime Minister Theresa May to address numerous examples of Islamophobic acts her party members had committed as they prepared for local elections during April and at the start of May, The Independent reported Monday.
Some Tory councilors stand accused of calling Islam the “new Nazism” and sharing articles that referred to Muslim people as “parasites.”
Another example that stood out was a photo that David Boston, a Conservative candidate who was suspended days before local elections posted. The photo in question showed bacon hanging from a door handle, with the caption reading: “Protect your house from terrorists.”
The calls come after the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)’s letter to the party last week requesting a full internal audit to tackle the “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party.”
“We very much welcome the many councils of mosques who have written in support of our call for an inquiry into this issue” an MCB spokesperson said. “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.”
Despite the widespread protests, Home Secretary Sajid Javid went on BBC on Monday to deny there was a problem with Islamophobia in the party.
He also attacked the MCB, claiming it did not represent British Muslims and was rather associated with extremism.
Harun Khan, the MCB’s secretary general condemned the allegations, saying they only showed the “party had no interest in dealing with this matter.”
“Rather than address the serious concerns raised by our message, Mr Javid has chosen to shoot the messenger,” he said. “We have identified real weekly cases of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which the party has even acknowledged by suspending members.
Baroness Syeda Warsi, the former chairman of the Conservative Party, and Lord Mohamed Sheikh, an advisor to former PM David Cameron, have both supported the push for a probe.
Lord Sheikh has written directly to May, describing the issue as a “matter of grave concern to the many Muslim members and supporters of the party,” according to the report.