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Editorial: Toxic culture of Islamophobia feared among police nationally

25th Nov 2022
Editorial: Toxic culture of Islamophobia feared among police nationally

(Photo credit: www.dpp-law.com/CC)

Well known for his oratory skills, former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, published his disreputable comments in the Daily Telegraph about Muslim women, describing those who, “go around looking like letterboxes” wearing “absolutely ridiculous” full-face veils, comparing them to “bank robbers.”

In the week after the column’s publication in August 2018, 38 anti-Muslim incidents were reported, including 22 involving “visibly Muslim women who wore the face veil,” according to Tell Mama’s monitoring group.

Between August 5 and August 29, 42 percent of the reported street-based incidents directly referenced Johnson and/or the malicious language he used. Johnson has consistently refused to apologise for his offensive remarks, despite being warned he was abusing his position and setting a dangerous tone.

Tell Mama warned that “dehumanising language,” such as those used by Johnson, has a damaging “drip effect” on minorities. “When politicians or newspapers evoke dehumanising language, during major campaigns or in opinion columns, or on social media, they risk normalising language, which, in turn, seeps further into every day,” it said.

The spikes in Islamophobia have continued, including this month’s disclosure of grotesque images shared among Gwent Police and found on the phone of deceased Officer Ricky Jones. These reportedly included Johnson posting a letter through the eye area of women in burkas, along with the incident of the Grenfell Tower fire that was described as ‘The Great Muslim Bakeoff’. Islamophobic messages were also posted by three Met Police officers in this year’s trial of a WhatsApp group associated with convicted killer Wayne Couzens.

Met Police also embroiled in Islamophobia

Fresh allegations of Islamophobia were separately levelled at the Met Police in February when Muslim officers were mocked while attending a local mosque, and a new “health and safety” rule was brought in requiring Muslim officers to declare if they took a prayer break.

Such incidents are not isolated events, with another case cited by the former top officer, Nusrit Mehtab, who accused the Met of being a toxic workplace and sued them on grounds of misogynistic, racial, and religious discrimination. The Met itself was also accused of Islamophobia by lawyers acting for the Grenfell Tower community, as a result of a document that predicted “crime and disorder” in the days after the blaze.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to end the toxic culture of Islamophobia in the Met, while there have been calls for a national public inquiry into a possible endemic police culture. Throughout all this, Johnson remained unapologetic despite accusations that he fanned the flames of Islamophobia and refused to address the harmful culture within his party, and his own questionable integrity, which ultimately led to his expulsion by his MPs.

The newly appointed Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has pledged that his government will have “integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level” and that he will earn the trust of the public. He controversially reinstalled Suella Braverman as Home Secretary and did not include any Muslim MPs in his cabinet.

Sunak must root out Muslim-hate crimes by approving a working definition of Islamophobia like other political parties. He could also set an example with the launch of an independent inquiry into Islamophobia within the Tory rank-and-file, as well as expanding the investigation into Gwent police into a national one.

 

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Dead officer’s phone exposes racism, Islamophobia, misogyny among Gwent Police

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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