Islamophobia: The acceptable form of racism in the Conservative Party?

Pariah: Baroness Warsi.

Two days after Baroness Warsi broke cover to accuse some of her Conservative colleagues of “extreme” and “toxic” hatred of Muslims, it seems nobody cares.

Unlike anti-Semitism, which is the stick Tories use to beat Labour again and again (even though there is more of it in the Conservative Party, as there is more of every kind of racism), it seems they have managed to convince the UK that it is acceptable to hate Muslims.

Certainly the prevalence of terror attacks on the UK by organisations claiming to be dedicated to fundamentalist Islam hasn’t helped.

But those are primarily revenge attacks, planned in response to Western incursions into the Middle East that – let’s be honest – had more to do with increasing sales for our arms industries than any desire for peace.

We see this very clearly in the Conservative attitude to Israel. Tories shower those on the Left with false anti-Semitism claims because we oppose the shocking abuses inflicted by that country’s government on the Palestinian people – while sales of weapons and ammunition to that country have skyrocketed.

On Sunday, Baroness Warsi told Business Insider Islamophobia is now “very widespread” in the Conservative party but is being deliberately ignored at the highest levels for electoral reasons – Muslims don’t vote Tory so the loss of that vote won’t hurt the party.

She said Michael Gove – recently tipped as a possible replacement for Theresa May – held “extreme” views: “I sometimes joke that Michael Gove radicalised David Cameron.

“In private conversations [I know that David] had some concerns about some of the extreme views that Michael had but over time [Gove] influenced a lot of his views.”

Mrs May herself was exposed as an out-and-out racist by the Windrush Scandal. She promised to reform the “hostile environment” policy that wrongly demonised UK citizens as illegal immigrants but it is still at work today.

Most recently, figures showed that the policy had barred nearly 2,500 doctors from taking up posts in the NHS, despite the fact that the service needs four times that many if it is to cope with the strains placed on it by Tory mismanagement.

Baroness Warsi said former campaign manager Lynton Crosby had “toxic” views about Muslims: “There is a sense of only caring about what wins us the next election and if trashing the Muslim community wins us the next election then who cares.

“If you campaign without a conscience then you’re going to run toxic campaigns. And if you run toxic campaigns then you eventually poison the nation.”

A clear example was the 2016 London Mayoral election, in which Tories targeted Hindu voters, saying Labour’s candidate – the Muslim Sadiq Khan – wanted to take away their jewellery.

Baroness Warsi said: “We specifically went out for Hindu voters saying Sadiq’s after your jewellery and I love Modi and by the way, Sadiq is an extremist. It was really amateur dog whistle politics.

“I just feel that somebody in campaign took a decision that if we throw enough dirt at him tied to the fact that he’s a Muslim then people will say this man can’t be trusted and he won’t vote for him. Terrible, terrible campaign which I think still has an effect.

“People always go back to it. People who were Conservative candidates and members couldn’t bring themselves to vote for us.”

These are strong words – and accurate. But the Conservative Party remains largely immune to the accusations, possibly due to its cosy relationship with a rabidly right-wing national media machine and the fact that, together, they have created an atmosphere of fear and hatred of Muslims.

That is why the Party has – so far – managed to resist all demands for an inquiry into Islamophobia within its ranks.

And Baroness Warsi?

This tweet says everything you need to know about attitudes to her:

Source: Baroness Warsi Says Islamophobia ‘Very Widespread’ In Tory Party

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6 thoughts on “Islamophobia: The acceptable form of racism in the Conservative Party?

  1. NMac

    It is quite obvious from events which have been made public recently that racial bigotry in all its obnoxious forms is alive and well in the nasty Tory Party.

  2. Zippi

    I’m sorry but I have to say this; Islamophobia is NOT racism. The first person I knew to be Muslim was of Irish decent and had blue eyes. The wife of one of the £ondon bombers (7th July 2005) was from my home town and was also “white.” “Islamophobia” is religious hatred. There are Muslims in my ancestral home but nobody in my extended family is Muslim. Racism is about who you are, not what you do. What you believe makes you Muslim, not where you come from, or the colour of your skin, or how nappy your hair is. You can change your religion, you cannot change who you are.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      While I agree with every word you say, context is everything, so I stand by my words.
      Islamophobia as used within the Conservative Party is a form of racism, because they use it to attack people whose skin isn’t the same colour as Theresa May’s, and who don’t have the same customs as white Anglo-Saxon Brits.

      1. Zippi

        If they are targeting Pakistani Muslims, that is racism but Islamophobia is not and the two must not be conflated. As somebody who has had to deal with racism, I find that conflation, as propagated by media, insulting. It is important that the distinction is made, for I am hearing of so meant things being called racism that aren’t and all that it serves to do is lessen the response to real racism and we end up at the bottom of the heap, again.

Comments are closed.