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Half of Tories see Islam as threat to British way of life

30th Oct 2020

Hamed Chapman

Almost half of Conservative Party members controversially claim that the Muslim religion is a threat to the British way of life, a new specially commissioned YouGov poll has found.

According to the findings presented to the delayed ‘Conservative Party Inquiry on all forms of racism’, some 57 per cent of party members had a negative attitude towards Muslims, with 21 per cent registering a very negative attitude.

The figure is more than twice the number of those with negative attitudes towards Hindus and Jewish people.
Some 47 per cent believed that Islam is “a threat to the British way of life”, while 58 per cent believed that “there are no-go areas in Britain where Sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter.”

This number rose to 66 per cent of those who backed Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership election.
The poll, which also showed over a third of Tory members thought that so-called Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain amongst the Muslim community, is part of Hope not Hate’s submission to the inquiry which had already being watered down from a fully independent into the extent of Islamophobia within the ranks of the ruling party.

Hope not Hate Chief Executive, Nick Lowles, said it was difficult to argue against the many proofs of the problem inside the party and that the “real question is how bold the Conservatives will be in taking action.”

“The Conservative Party has to face up to the widespread anti-Muslim prejudice in its ranks if it ever hopes to eradicate the problem,” Lowles said, adding that it was dispiriting that to again call attention to the prejudice held by many within the Tory rank and file that there is a conflict between being Muslim and being British.

Conservative Party Spokesperson told The Muslim News, “We take any complaint very seriously. There is currently an independent investigation into our complaints processes. We will consider any recommendations to further strengthen our procedures”

Labour MPs have condemned Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

“This recent poll shows just how deeply embedded Islamophobia is within the Conservative Party,” Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Afzal Khan, told The Muslim News.

“This is a Party whose members refuse to take unconscious bias training, ran a disgustingly racist mayoral campaign against Sadiq Khan and refuse to adopt the APPG British Muslims definition of Islamophobia, which has the support of all the major parties.

“They need to take immediate action and tackle the very serious issue of Islamophobia and that starts with the Prime Minister,” said Khan.

Of those that considered Islam a supposed threat, 50 per cent agreed with the statement ‘Islam breeds intolerance for free speech and calls for violent actions against those who mock, criticise or depict the religion in ways they believe are offensive.’

Some 41 per cent felt ‘Muslims don’t want to integrate’ and 41 per cent agreed that ‘Islam promotes discrimination of and the physical abuse of women, for example, the grooming of white British girls.’

Furthermore, an overwhelming 79 per cent of Conservative Party members refused to believe that their party has a problem with Islamophobia, only 9 per cent admitted there was. The number believing there was no problem grew to 86 per cent amongst Johnson supporters.

Only one in six party members (17 per cent) felt that the party should be doing more to combat Islamophobia and other racism within the party. This compared to 74 per cent who believed that the party was already doing all it reasonably can.

Among its recommendations, Hope not Hate said the Tories needed to create independent complaints and disciplinary procedure for their party. It should initiate an open and transparent system for suspending members subject to investigations and provide a programme of training for members on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice which should be compulsory training for MPs and other leaders.

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