More than a dozen Conservative councillors who were suspended over posting Islamophobic or racist content online – with some describing Saudis as “sand peasants” and sharing material comparing Asian people to dogs – have had their membership quietly reinstated, a Guardian investigation has found.
The chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, called on the party to publish a set of formal disciplinary processes after the Guardian found 15 examples of politicians who posted content that was deemed objectionable.
The findings come amid growing concerns over the Conservative party’s attitude to reports of Islamophobia in a febrile wider climate, with the number of hate crimes against Muslims reported to have risen by 593% in the week after the attack on two New Zealand mosques.
The official Tory line, as published in The Guardian, appears to be that the members concerned had been punished appropriately.
Tories quietly reinstate 15 councillors who were suspended over posting Islamophobic and racist content online – with some describing Muslims as sand peasants and others sharing material comparing Asian people to dogs #ToryRacism#ToryIslamophobia
— Socialist Voice (@SocialistVoice) March 24, 2019
“Sand peasants”? “Dogs”? There are Conservative Party members who are Muslims. No wonder Baroness Warsi has been campaigning to highlight the institutional Islamophobia of her own party for so long.
Here she is, noting the latest development – along with Tom London, asking a pertinent question of our public service broadcaster, the BBC (Ofcom please note):
— Tom London (@TomLondon6) March 24, 2019
(Mind you, the Tories have a strategy to deal with Baroness Warsi – it is to attack her integrity. Consider Tim Montgomerie’s tweet – and Aleesha’s response:
Nope. What’s a disgrace is you seeing “Muslims” and “islamophobia” and instantly thinking “tErRoRiSm” whilst implying that Sayeeda Warsi denounces islamophobia cos she’s some sort of terrorist sympathiser. You’re vile. https://t.co/TGSgBRZkNS
— Aleesha Khaliq (@a_leesha1) March 24, 2019
Clearly, it is a strategy that has failed; we’ve all seen through it.)
David Schneider tweeted: “This is why we’ll take no lectures on antisemitism from the party of the hostile environment, Windrush scandal, Go Home vans, of cosying up to Orban and Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign, a party that turns a blind eye to islamophobia.”
And Tom Clark, author of Another Angry Voice, asserted: “Tory disciplinary procedures for racism: Make a huge show of suspending their racists. Brag about how great their disciplinary procedures are. Quietly let them all back in after the fuss dies down. Example after example in this article.”
Quite right – because this is typical Tory behaviour.
They think rules are only relevant to other people. If they get caught breaking them, they’ll make a show of contrition, wait a while, then carry on as if nothing has happened.
Now they’ve been caught doing just that, and they have nothing to say. All they can do is claim that those they sneaked back into the party were justified in coming back.
And nobody believes them.
The situation is as Hasan Patel describes it:
“I am disgusted that the Tory party has quietly reinstated 15 councillors who were suspended for Islamophobia. They are an institutionally racist party that also enacts racist government policies like the Windrush scandal.”
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