Exclusive: Over 100 Mosques Sign Letter Demanding U.K. Watchdog Investigate Conservative Party for Islamophobia

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Over 100 mosques and 40 excessive profile Muslim organizations have signed a letter demanding that the U.Ok.’s equalities watchdog examine the Conservative Party over allegations of Islamophobia, accusing it of a “dereliction of responsibilities” to British Muslims.

In the letter, the mosques and organizations criticize the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), an impartial physique chargeable for the promotion and enforcement of equality and non-discrimination legal guidelines in England, for “exposing an already vulnerable British Muslim community to greater discrimination” and of “failing to fulfill its remit”.

Signed by 106 mosques in England and Scotland, together with Glasgow Central Mosque, Waltham Forest Council of Mosques and Finsbury Park Mosque, in addition to organizations together with the Halal Monitoring Committee, it tells the EHRC that they’re “greatly concerned at the failure of EHRC to fulfill its remit and carry out an investigation of Islamophobia allegations within the Conservative Party.”

A file of greater than 300 allegations of Islamophobia by Tory get together members was submitted to the equality watchdog in March by the Muslim Council of Britain, together with some made towards Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Conservative Party is at present endeavor its personal investigation into “all forms of prejudice”.

The letter goes on to accuse the equalities watchdog of a battle of curiosity.

EHRC chairman David Isaac works for authorized agency Pinsent Masons, an organization that does some work on behalf of the federal government. The EHRC says that “strict professional rules governing conflicts of interest” are adopted and he isn’t concerned in, nor paid for, authorities tasks.

Yunus Dudhwala, an Imam at Quwwatul Islam Masjid, mentioned he had added his title to the letter as a result of he “wanted all communities to be treated equally.”

Exclusive: Over 100 Mosques Sign Letter Demanding U.K. Watchdog Investigate Conservative Party for Islamophobia
The EHRC has been criticized for not launching an investigation into allegations of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party Getty

He informed Newsweek: “There have been a catalog of incidents one after the other. I remember very clearly the campaign against [Mayor of London and a Muslim] Sadiq Khan, then you’ve got MPs who are tweeting or retweeting Islamophobic messages, you’ve got the prime minister who mentioned about letterboxes [when talking about how some Muslim women look], so there are so many incidents that there has to be some accountability.

“It’s the accountability that is key.

“I think it’s important for all communities to feel that they are being treated the same and being treated fairly, nobody is asking for favors, every community should be treated the same and if there were a catalog of anti-Semitic messages that were sent from Labour party members then the EHRC rightly investigated them and the same should happen to the Conservative Party.

“At the second it is one rule for one and one other rule for the opposite.”

The EHRC is investigating Labour, the opposition party, for allegations of antisemitism, the first time it had investigated a mainstream political party since its inception in 2006.

The difference, according to the EHRC, is because the Conservatives announced its own investigation but Labour did not.

The Conservative Party has been dogged by allegations of Islamophobia, especially since the run-up to the 2019 general election.

A report compiled by the campaign group Hope Not Hate, an anti-racism advocacy group in the U.K., showed anti-Muslim online comments made by Tory members, including six councilors.

The Tories suspended all of those who were party members.

In April 2019, Buzzfeed News published a list of 20 party members who had made comments calling Muslims “muzz rats” and “subhuman scum”.

A poll of Conservative Party members in June 2019, carried out by polling organization YouGov for Hope Not Hate, found that nearly half would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister and more than two-thirds of members believe that parts of the UK are under sharia law.

It had a total sample size of 864 adults, carried out online, was weighted and representative of all GB adults.

During the Conservative Party leadership campaign in 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, committed to holding a specific inquiry into Islamophobia among party members.

He instead decided to launch an investigation into all forms of prejudice, a move criticized by the MCB, who accused the party of “refusing to acknowledge that there could be bigotry and prejudice directed at Muslims.”

Since then, the party has set out its scope of an independent investigation, with Amanda Milling MP, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, saying: “The Conservative Party won’t ever stand by relating to prejudice and discrimination of any sort. It is why we’re dedicated to this investigation, to make sure that any abuse that’s not match for public life is stamped out.”

The EHRC has said that it would not be launching its own investigation into the Conservative Party at this stage.

It said: “We might be monitoring the evaluation and requiring the get together to offer common updates on progress. If we’re not happy with progress or how the investigation is carried out we are going to evaluation our resolution and don’t rule out the usage of our authorized powers.”

The Conservative Party investigation has been criticized by the MCB.

“By proscribing the phrases to an inquiry merely into the complaints acquired, the [Conservative] get together is selecting to summarily dismiss all the problems of the poisonous tradition of racism which were raised by the Muslim Council of Britain and lots of others,” MCB Secretary-General Harun Khan said at the time.

The present letter signed by the imams additionally accuses the EHRC of a battle of curiosity.

It states: “Some of the EHRC’s board members’ exterior posts are elevating considerations of battle of curiosity. Suzanne Baxter, a board member of EHRC has taken up a place at Pinsent Masons, a company regulation agency that represents the Conservative authorities.”

It also goes on to claim that David Isaac, chairman of the EHRC, also benefits from Pinsent Masons, with a salary of “£620,000 a yr”, claims that the EHRC categorically denies.

A spokesperson for the EHRC said: “We are an impartial regulator and take our impartiality very critically. We have strong procedures and insurance policies in place to handle conflicts of pursuits or perceived conflicts of pursuits.

“Since taking up his role as Chair, David Isaac has not been involved in or profited from any work for government departments or political parties. As a non-executive board member, Suzanne Baxter is not involved in the day-to-day activity of Pinsent Masons’ work and she does not receive profit or bonuses for any client work.”

The regulation agency Pinset Masons additionally rejected claims of a battle of curiosity and echoed the feedback of the EHRC.

A spokesperson at Pinsent Masons mentioned: “We operate in accordance with strict professional rules governing conflicts of interest and take appropriate measures to identify any potential legal conflicts at all times.

“We can affirm that no authorized battle of curiosity arises by motive of David Isaac’s Chairmanship of the EHRC with different members of the agency finishing up work on behalf of the UK Government.”

The legal firm did not respond to questions about Isaac’s pay.

The letter signed by the mosques has been organized by Friends of Al Aqsa, which describes itself as a U.K. based non-profit NGO concerned with defending the human rights of Palestinians and protecting the sacred al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem.

Its founding chairman, Ismail Patel has previously been criticized for claiming that Hamas was not a terrorist organization.

In 2009 during the bombing of Gaza by Israel, Patel told a rally: “Hamas isn’t any terrorist group. The motive they hate Hamas is as a result of they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing as much as Israel.”

However, he has rejected claims he has links to the group and told the Jewish Chronicle that Hamas had been guilty of “horrible stuff” throughout its history.

He told the news site: “To paraphrase my speech, I argued Hamas was defending the folks of Gaza and with out them Israel would have destroyed them. You is not going to discover me speaking about Hamas both earlier than or after that speech.”

The Conservative party, Nadine Dorries, Bob Blackman and Dan Hannan have been contacted separately for comment.

What does the letter say in full?

To,

David Isaac and the Board of Equality Human Rights Commission:

We the undersigned Imams and organisations are greatly concerned at the failure of EHRC to fulfil its remit and carry out an investigation of Islamophobia allegation within the Conservative Party.

It is unacceptable for an independent statutory body whose responsibility [1] encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination” to decide out from investigating allegation. It is additional unsatisfactory for the EHRC to stay on the facet line and easily monitor [2] the Conservative get together perform its personal inner and self-appointed investigation.

The allegations towards the Conservative Party members are extraordinarily severe, with Muslim Council of Britain indicating 300 instances that had been submitted to you in March. The media [3] has additionally reported quite a few instances of Conservative politicians expressing Islamophobic views that require an impartial investigation. This contains Nadine Dorries MP [4], Bob Blackman MP [5], former MEP Daniel Hannan [6] and racist posts on social media by greater than 30 [7] present and former councillors.

Further, a few of the EHRC’s board members’ exterior posts are elevating considerations of battle of curiosity. Since Suzanne Baxter, a board member of EHRC has taken up a place at Pinsent Masons, a company regulation agency that represents the Conservative authorities. It can be alleged you, Mr David Isaac profit from Pinset Masons with a wage of £620,000 a yr [8].

The Islamophobia allegations are within the backdrop of 47% of all spiritual hate crime in 2018/19 [9] being focused towards Muslims.

For the EHRC to disclaim investigating Islamophobia inside the Conservative Party, with the final rising charge of Islamophobia is a dereliction of obligations that’s exposing an already vulnerability British Muslim neighborhood to larger discrimination.

We due to this fact name upon EHRC to instantly evaluation its place and name for an investigation into the allegations of Islamophobia inside the Conservative Party. We additionally require assurances of impartiality for such an investigation.