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Muslim Council of Britain Accuses Tories of 'Sweeping Islamophobia Under Carpet'

© AFP 2023 / ODD ANDERSENBritish muslims pray during Friday prayer at the East London mosque. (File)
British muslims pray during Friday prayer at the East London mosque. (File) - Sputnik International
The mounting controversy over alleged anti-Muslim racism in the British Conservatives is proving to be somewhat of a thorn in the side of the party at a time when a great deal of focus is needed on Brexit. Yet, the accusations of ‘institutional racism’ show no signs of going away.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has accused the governing Conservatives of "sweeping Islamophobia under the carpet" after it welcomed 15 councillors back into the party who had been suspended over allegedly racist posts on social media.

A spokesperson for MCB told the Independent in an interview that the Tory's reluctance to sufficiently investigate and punish alleged Islamophobia within the party was evidence that it "cared more about public image than stopping racism."

The spokesperson said that, "together with the number of new cases in the past two weeks, the lack of action when many complaints are raised in private and the denial across the party, the position that there is no institutional problem is not tenable."

"The party appears to care more about the public image than stopping racism have a hold in the party. At the very minimum they need to have an independent inquiry as there is no trust that the chair of the party has any willingness to commit to any action other than repeatedly issuing platitudes," the spokesperson added.

READ MORE: UK Conservative Party Accused of 'Turning Blind Eye' to Reports of Islamophobia

The development comes after a string of revelations concerning online comments made by the councillors. New cases unearthed over the past week reportedly include Tory members calling Muslims "cavemen" and saying that "most" of the religion's adherents are sex offenders, while another described people from Saudi Arabia as "sand peasants" — and these comments are just the tip of the iceberg. 

​As the revelations began to mount, the chairman of the party's Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, called for the setting up of a formal disciplinary process. While the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) carried out an investigations process and 15 suspensions were meted out, the Guardian revealed in an investigation that those individuals were readmitted to the party. This only enflamed allegations that the issue was not being taken seriously. Yet, James Cleverly, the party's deputy chairman, has been widely quoted as saying that he disagrees "deeply" with any assertion that the Tory's is an institutionally Islamophobic party.

To bolster that comment, a Conservative spokesman also said that, "discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong. When CCHQ has been made aware of the small number of such cases we have acted swiftly, suspending members and launching immediate investigations, in sharp contrast to other parties."

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