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UK: 14 Tories suspended over Islamophobic posts

Move follows discovery of racist and anti-Islamic comments on social media

Muhammad Mussa   | 06.03.2019
UK: 14 Tories suspended over Islamophobic posts

LONDON

Fourteen members of Britain’s Conservative Party were suspended Tuesday for posting racist and anti-Islamic comments on social media.

The move followed the discovery of a collection of Islamophobic, racist and abusive comments on a Twitter account and Facebook groups run by Tory members.

The remarks on Twitter were posted on an account that archives racist comments made by Conservative Party members.

They included one that said “Turf all Muslims out of public office” and another calling on the government “to get rid of all mosques”.

A number of the accounts’ members also attacked fellow Tory MP and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, whom they said they could not vote for, as a vote for him would amount to a vote for “Islam to lead this country”.

An anonymous spokesman for the Conservative Party said the Facebook groups and Twitter account were not affiliated with the party and the members were immediately suspended and would be investigated.

Responding to the suspensions, the Muslim Council of Britain said “the scale of Islamophobia at all levels of the party is astonishing” and called for further inquiries.

Earlier today, senior Tory Baroness Sayeeda Warsi accused the party of being “institutionally Islamophobic” following the reinstatement of Tory MP Peter Lamb, who had made Islamophobic comments.

In 2018, senior Tory MPs called on Prime Minister Theresa May to acknowledge the issue of Islamophobia within the ruling party and to take concrete action against MPs and party members who make anti-Muslim statements.

The same year, the Muslim Council of Britain wrote an open letter urging the government to launch an investigation into those known to have Islamophobic beliefs who have made such statements both online and in public.

After its publication, former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson compared Muslim women who wear the hijab and burqa to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”. But after facing an internal party inquiry, he was found to have not committed any wrongdoing.

Although May has publicly spoken out against Islamophobia, no serious action has been taken by the government or the party to tackle it.

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