Islamophobia Inquiry Deliberately Excluded Conservative Muslims, Says Former MEP | Preservatives
Muslim members of the Conservative Party have been deliberately excluded from an investigation into Islamophobia within its ranks, a former Tory MEP said, calling the complaints procedure “not fit for purpose” and urging Boris Johnson to not to pursue an “English nationalist program”. .
Sajjad Karim, who represented North West England in the European Parliament for 15 years until 2019, said the long-awaited report released last week and found no evidence of “institutional Islamophobia” was a “whitewash”, and said apologizing to the Prime Minister for any offense he had committed were “not sincere.”
Speaking to the Guardian’s Politics Weekly podcast, Karim expressed concern that the Conservatives’ headquarters (CCHQ) would use a “sleight of hand” to evade implementation of the recommendations made by the Conservatives. Professor Swaran Singh of the survey.
Johnson’s apology “for any offense committed” when he compared women wearing burqas to letterboxes in 2018 and the subsequent admission that he would not use the same language as the Prime Minister have been described as ” with a floury mouth “and” nothing but insulting “by Karim.
He said party members, including him, “no longer had confidence in the party’s internal will to actually deal with this problem.”
“We can’t just rely on internal processes to get a result,” Karim said. “That is why I am certainly of the opinion that it is time that some kind of external light was shined on the inner workings of the Conservative Party when it comes to these issues.”
Karim revealed that he told party officials about a “specific complaint” before the investigation began and was assured that he would be contacted once it was underway, but he did not. ‘heard “absolutely nothing”.
He only found out he had shut down from media reports and said CCHQ told him ‘we’re so sorry, it’s too late for you to contribute to the investigation – it was open to the public but now it is closed ”.
Karim said this was evidence of a “very lousy attempt” to “distort the conclusions” of the investigation by trying to “ensure” that only certain people testified so that it progresses “in a certain direction. “. “I am not the only one who finds himself in this position,” he said. “There are many others who have simply been left out of the process. And I think quite intentionally.
The entire investigative process – which Johnson was forced to undertake by then-Chancellor Sajid Javid during a televised debate on the leadership of the Tories in 2019 – was considered by the Prime Minister as an “irritant,” Karim said.
He said that conservative activists had given him “a number of stories” of Islamophobia, and that he himself had experienced it “both locally and at the parliamentary level” – which means that the problem “permeates” the party.
“You have conclusions, which they say they will implement, but obviously only time will tell,” Karim said. He said he had tried to raise issues of Islamophobia many times in the past, but that “people like me… are simply portrayed as individuals who are really just troublemakers and nothing more.”
Shortly after the report was released, Johnson hosted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán – who previously described Muslims as “invaders” – at Downing Street. Karim said this “sends, at the very least, all the wrong signals”, and added that he sees in England “a lot of similarities” to what is happening in Hungary.
“The way our politics in the UK seems to be developing – certainly in England – this whole idea of culture wars and trying to fight a waking agenda is something that’s coming to the fore.”
A rift is growing between other nations in the UK and England due to a “very dangerous state of affairs,” Karim said, warning that “the English nationalist agenda” pushed to Westminster “was putting the ‘UK unit at stake’. .
“We need a real leadership program, based on our traditional values that have been built over the centuries,” said Karim, stressing the importance for the country to remain an “open, liberal and tolerant society based on rules”.
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said: “Professor Swaran Singh conducted a thorough independent investigation which included access to our complaints department and organized a public call for evidence.
“The investigation identified a number of shortcomings, notably in our complaints process, which we accepted.
“The Conservative Party Co-Chair has accepted and agreed to implement Professor Swaran Singh’s 28 recommendations. “