How kind of the new Home Secretary to show he’s just as far out of touch as the last one.
Sajid Javid has been desperately trying to deny claims that the Conservative Party is a hotbed of Islamophobia, much as previous Home Secretary Amber Rudd tried to deny knowledge of the extent of the Windrush Scandal.
Here, the man who said the only religion practised in his household was Christianity tries to hold himself up as an example of positive attitudes toward Muslims in the Tory Party, on Sunday’s (June 3) Andrew Marr Show.
Disgraceful. Sajid Javid dismisses complaints from his Tory colleague that their party is rife with Islamophobia, claiming they can't be Islamophobic because they promoted him. He also smears the Muslim Council of Britain. pic.twitter.com/CBFbWPy9jz
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) June 3, 2018
The reactions have been appropriate:
Non-practising Muslim Sajid Javid on #marr 'The Muslim Council of Britain doesn't represent British Muslims' Because they raise inconvenient truths about @Conservatives institutional bigotry? https://t.co/9716R50o5D
— The Prole Star (@TheProleStar) June 3, 2018
You're probably aware of The Muslim Council of Britain's demand for an inquiry in to Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. But this is nothing new. They've wanted this inquiry since 2016, but the Tories have ignored them.
We take no lessons from the Conservatives.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) June 2, 2018
Having heard Mr Javid’s denial of the MCB’s authority, other Muslim organisations have stood up to demand action. This is from the Muslim Council of Peterborough:
Statement by the Joint Mosque Council of Peterborough. pic.twitter.com/Gr4MywKr53
— Peterborough Mosque (@FeMmosque) June 4, 2018
Writing to Tory chair Damian Lewis, general secretary Faisal Mahmood states:
“I am writing to express my support for the Muslim Council of Britain’s call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
“We were deeply disappointed at the lack of action after the appalling Mayoral Campaign in London… We are also worried to see the weekly incidents of Islamophobia in the party with no visible repercussions against those who partake.
“Just one example from many would be the fact that no action has been taken against Bob Blackman MP, who is clearly a repeat offender of Islamophobia well within the public eye.
“After two of the four Muslim peers in the Party (Baroness Warsi and Lord Sheikh) have shared these concerns, it is imperative there be a full inquiry into Islamophobia, which holds integrity along with the trust of the Muslim communities.”
For an example of Mr Blackman’s behaviour – along with that of other Islamophobic Conservatives, see this article.
Now the Conservative Muslim Forum – “a wholly affiliated voluntary organisation of the Conservative Party” – has “unanimously concluded that it is essential that the Party should hold such an inquiry”.
Mr Javid won’t be able to “shoot the messenger” as commentator Alex Nunns described it on Twitter – he’s on the Conservative Muslim Forum’s website glad-handing its members.
The forum’s letter states:
“As you will know, last week the Muslim Council of Britain called upon our Party to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia (generally understood to mean anti-Muslim hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice) within the Party.
“Since then, Conservative peers The Rt Hon Baroness Warsi and Lord Sheikh have supported the request for such an inquiry.
“The Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF) avoided any public comment until the Executive Committee was able to meet, which it did earlier this evening. The Executive Committee unanimously concluded that it is essential that the Party should hold such an inquiry and resolved to send you this open letter.
“We will be happy to provide any assistance that the inquiry may require.”
If Mr Javid continues to deny the existence of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, in the face of all the evidence, then he risks another scandal that is possibly more damaging than Windrush.
That was about racism by Conservatives – and brought down Amber Rudd.
This is also about racism by Conservatives but, coming after Windrush, it would show that the Conservatives have not only learned nothing from that scandal – they are entirely unrepentant, have refused to change their ways, and in fact are determined to flaunt their racism.
If Mr Javid fails to acknowledge this and doesn’t act, he risks creating a storm greater than that whipped up around Windrush.
He should consider his future as Home Secretary.
And civil servants in his department should consider installing a revolving door to his office.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid was today embroiled in a bitter a row with one of Britain’s biggest Muslim bodies over allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
Mr Javid hit out at the Muslim Council of Britain, accusing it of harbouring members with unacceptable views on extremism.
He said the MCB, an umbrella body for 500 mosques, schools and associations in Britain, did not represent the country’s Muslim community.
His comments came after the MCB called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tories, after a string of alleged incidents involving candidates and representatives of the party.
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