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Islamophobia must be rooted out in all forms

28th Aug 2020
Islamophobia must be rooted out in all forms

(Credit: Creative Commons)

Boris Johnson has dangerously missed an opportunity to root out further Islamophobic outbursts from his party. The Prime Minister has so far refused to condemn one of his backbenchers for insidiously scapegoating Muslims for spreading the deadly coronavirus.

When challenged directly this month, Prime Minister’s official Spokesman avoided the question on whether he agreed with Tory MP Craig Whittaker’s controversial remarks and chose instead to simply patronise the Muslim community for “their efforts and sacrifices throughout this pandemic”.

The former Government whip, clarified in an interview with LBC radio that he was singling out Muslims for blame when claiming it was “the BAME communities” that were not taking the re-imposition of lockdown measures in northern England seriously enough.

“Until people take it seriously, we’re not going to get rid of this pandemic,” said the MP for Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. His Islamophobic comments come after the Daily Telegraph attempted to single out Pakistan as being the “origin of half of Britain’s imported virus cases.”

Johnson’s views of Muslims have often been questioned after offensively describing Muslim women wearing the niqab as looking-like “bank robbers” and “letter-boxes.” Since taking office, he has also reneged on an election pledge to hold an independent inquiry about the extent of Islamophobia within the Tory Party.

This is despite the Muslim Council of Britain presenting a new dossier of over 300 cases of alleged Islamophobia among the rank and file Conservative to the Equality and Human Rights Commission in March.

The duplicitous attempt to blame Muslims for the resurgence in Covid-19 cases comes as the Government had been trying to use scapegoats for its inept performance to combat the deadly virus.

It is pernicious to put community relations at risk just for Johnson and his ministers to save face. Notoriously no member of the Government has criticised Whittaker’s obscene attack on Muslims.

Distinctively lacking has been any attempt to chastise the former whip similarly to the way the Tories effectively colluded with Zac Goldsmith’s unsuccessful Islamophobic campaign to discredit Sadiq Khan’s election to be London Mayor. Worse still Goldsmith was even rewarded with a life peerage from Johnson.

Long associated with fanning the flames of Islamophobia has been the inappropriate abuse of Islamic terminology in relation to aspects of terrorism.

The latest call by the National Association of Muslim Police for such terms as “Islamist” and “Jihadis” to be officially dropped must be welcomed.

Such labels not only play into the hands of terrorist groups that deceptively claim they are motivated by religion but also sustain the distorted consequence of giving false perceptions about Muslims.

For half a generation or more, Muslims have been seen through the prism of extremism and terrorism. Such a distorted narrative has influenced community relations with the police, politicians and how it is viewed often by the media. It has become part of the cultural air and formed misleading detrimental stereotypes that are so common in the public sphere.

The proposal, which reportedly is under consideration, would be an immense stride towards improving relations between Muslims and the police.

But it would only be an initial step to repair the great damage that has been caused, including in misguided legislation that puts the community under permanent surveillance and created so many other issues, not least the growth of the surge of Islamophobia.

 

PM refuses to condemn MP who claimed ‘vast majority’ of lockdown breaches are by Muslim and BAME communities

One Response to “Islamophobia must be rooted out in all forms”

AlsahdiqAugust 30, 2020

The Almighty (swt) gave the faithfuls, the best balm for every adversity faced by us.
It is “Wustayeenoo bis subr wus salaat”.
Can anything be better than Almighty’s cure.
The arrogant and the ignorants in Europe also tried to stem the spread of Christianity. Did they succeed?

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