PRESS RELEASE: Conservative Islamophobia Inquiry Branded Whitewash by leading Muslim Organisation; EHRC Investigation Demanded
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday May 25 2021
Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), the UK’s largest grass-roots Muslim advocacy organisation, has called upon the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to formally take action in investigating Islamophobia in the Conservative Party following the publication of the Singh Investigation Report.
- MEND initially supported the Singh Investigation and submitted evidence of over 120 instances of Islamophobia. The whitewashed report is a grave disappointment to all those hoping for a serious and robust inquiry into Islamophobia.
- The report does not use the term Islamophobia, describing it as “deeply contested”, despite widespread acceptance of its usage, including by the APPG for British Muslims and representative Muslim organisations.
- The report fails to adequately tackle clear examples of Islamophobic and inflammatory comments at senior levels of the party, such as Boris Johnson’s comments on Muslim women in burqas, instead claiming that these cases merely “give the impression to many that the Party and its leadership are insensitive to Muslim communities.” Such language trivialises legitimate concerns and obscures the responsibility of party leadership.
- The exclusive focus of the investigation on complaints procedures fails to address the core issue, which is the pervasive atmosphere of Islamophobia that fuels such complaints and which allows entrenched Islamophobic sentiments to fester.
- MEND has written to the EHRC demanding it use its statutory powers to initiate an immediate independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
Azhar Qayum, CEO of MEND, states:
“While technical recommendations regarding complaints procedures are welcome, the limited scope and diluted language of the Singh Report betrays its lack of moral integrity and purposeful refusal to hold the Conservative Party to account. The report fails to address the pervasive climate of Islamophobia across the party which produces complaints in the first place, instead dismissing such issues as merely giving the ‘impression’ of Islamophobia – a conclusion that is little more than gaslighting. MEND has thus had no choice but to insist that the EHRC launch its own investigation.”