Two Jewish groups back calls for inquiry into Tory Islamophobia allegations

Jewish Council For Racial Equality and Union of Jewish Students endorse need for investigation

Wednesday 06 June 2018 15:56 BST
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The Tories have faced a number of allegations about Islamophobia from party members
The Tories have faced a number of allegations about Islamophobia from party members (iStock)

Two Jewish groups have backed calls for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

The Jewish Council For Racial Equality (JCORE) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) have endorsed the appeals made by the Muslim Council of Britain and 11 other Muslim councils across the UK.

The endorsement comes as the chairman of the Conservative Party’s own Muslim forum accused the Tories of failing to root out Islamophobia because they are scared of damaging their political power.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Mohammed Amin, the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF), said it was a serious issue and that it had been raised several times.

Now, JCORE and UJS have put their weight behind the calls for an inquiry into the issue.

Dr Edie Friedman, executive director of JCORE said: “We welcome the call for Islamophobia to be investigated within the Conservative Party.

“In the same way as there is a focus on combatting antisemitism including within the Labour Party, it is incumbent on all groups and communities to come together to look at how we can be more effective in combatting hate speech and behaviour across the entire political spectrum.

“This requires action from the leadership and grassroots of all political parties, religious organisations and civil society.”

The UJS said it wanted to express its support for the UK Muslim community in tackling “the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred”.

A spokesperson for the group added: “When the Jewish community stood outside parliament and demanded enough is enough with antisemitism in the Labour Party, we were grateful to be joined by allies from other minority communities, and so it is only right that when the Muslim community is facing abuse, our community too stands behind them.

“We call on the leadership of the party to take a hard line against this insidious form of hate, act swiftly in disciplining those responsible appropriately and, echoing the call of Tell MAMA over two years ago, to commission an inquiry into anti-Muslim hatred in the Conservative Party.”

Tell MAMA is a national project which monitors Islamophobic incidents across the UK.

There have also been a number of incidents of Islamophobic and racist content posted on social media by councillors and party members, with 12 reports in the past two months.

In response to calls for an inquiry, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We have introduced a new code of conduct covering all forms of discrimination and we take all allegations seriously.

“The party has acted quickly when presented with evidence of inappropriate behaviour, suspending those involved and launching immediate investigations.”

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