What Muslims are hoping the election result means for them
Categories: Latest News
Monday December 23 2019
Following last week’s general election, few could have missed the fact that the Conservative Party has emerged with a significant majority in Parliament. We hope their government sets their sights on tackling the inequalities, disadvantages, and prejudices affecting many in our society.
Whilst the Conservative Party is undoubtedly jubilant following their success, it should not overshadow the harsh realities of our current socio-political climate. Muslim women have been described as “bank robbers” and “letterboxes”, and Islamophobic hate crime rose by over 40% in London alone in the year up to January 2018. In this climate of hostility, it is incumbent upon our new government to be aware of the challenges that minority communities face and ensure that they are fully representing the needs and interests of all of their constituents.
Islamophobia is prevalent throughout the UK and impacts Muslims’ engagement in social, economic, and political structures. Recently conducted polls suggest that a third of Britons believed that Islam is a threat to the ‘British way of life’, while a growth in far-right online activity furthers Islamophobic rhetoric and agendas. Meanwhile, in the build-up to this election, Muslim community organisations have highlighted the need for party leaders to effectively address and root out Islamophobia in all its forms.
Now the Conservative Party has a majority, their primary aim of delivering Brexit must be accompanied by a recognition of their responsibility to fully represent all British citizens in accordance with their stated aims of bring the country back together. This must include addressing the marginalisation of Muslim communities.
To that end, it is essential that the Conservative Party undergoes an independent investigation specifically into Islamophobia within its ranks. We urge the Conservative Party to demonstrate true leadership in this respect and to also move to explicitly include Islamophobia within its members’ code of conduct. Moreover, in order for Mr Johnson’s Government to fully represent the interests of British Muslims, it is vital that it commits to proactively engaging and consulting with representative and grassroots organisations within British Muslim communities.