(London) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party faces a persistent problem of Islamophobia at the local or personal level, an independent report on discrimination within the party concluded on Tuesday.
“Anti-Muslim sentiment remains a problem within the party. This is harmful to the party and it hijacks an important section of the society, ”the report emphasized.
In total, it analyzed 1,418 complaints of discrimination addressed to conservatives between 2015 and 2020, of which 727 are related to incidents, of which two-thirds are Muslim related.
According to the document, this anti-Muslim sentiment can be found at local or personal levels, however, indicating that it has not identified “institutional racism” in dealing with complaints.
A Conservative Party spokesman said the party would review the recommendations in the report and promised to respond “later” today.
He particularly advocates an overhaul of the complaint management system, greater transparency in the way they are handled, a clear code of conduct for all members, amendments to the rules in the context of training and social networks.
Alleging Islamophobia to flourish within its ranks, the ruling party in December 2019 entrusted Professor Swaran Singh, a former member of a National Commission on Equality, eagerly awaiting a study on discrimination within it.
The announcement came soon after the Conservatives’ overwhelming victory in legislative elections, as the Labor opposition struggled with accusations of anti-Semitism.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was chosen to write an article in 2018, when he was the foreign minister, in which he compared Muslim women wearing full veils to ‘letterboxes’ or ‘thief banks’.
According to the report, this raises the perception that “the party and its leadership are disrespecting Muslim communities.”
Boris Johnson said if his words could strike, “forgive” him. “Shall I use some hurt words from my previous writing today?” No, not now that I am the Prime Minister, ”he replied in the report.
His spokesman insisted on Tuesday that the leader was not racist.
Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, urged his party to “fully and completely” adopt the report’s recommendations.
He stressed, “Eliminating discrimination against Muslims or any other minority group is an issue where political parties in our country have a responsibility to show leadership.”
For House of Lords member Saida Warsi, the report is revealing “the best incapable of dealing with the problem of racism, the most reluctant to do so”.