Suspended Islamophobic Tory members quietly reinstated back into the Party
In a deeply troubling move, 15 of the previously suspended Conservative members who publically promoted Islamophobic content online have been apparently reinstated back into the Party, despite calls from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as well as rights groups for there to be a serious investigation into the rampant Islamophobia from within the Party.
Conservative members were previously suspended not even a week ago over comments such as: “no Muslim will get my vote” and “I was going through a few magazines the other day down the local mosque. I was really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed”.
Despite the Conservative Party’s reassurance that Islamophobia within the Party would be heavily dealt with, the fact that 15 of those previously suspended members were quickly reinstated shows a lack of seriousness when dealing with the issue.
The Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammad Amin, admits that there has long been a problem with racist and Islamophobic rhetoric within the Conservative Party. Although he believes there must be a stricter process when dealing with hate-speech, he worryingly admits that it may be understandable why so many hold Islamophobic views:
In terms of the terrorism carried out in the name of Islam – 9/11, 7/7, ect. – it’s quite easy to see where these anti-Muslim ideas come from…I personally don’t necessarily have a problem with unsuspending people who have apologized and undergone diversity training, for example. But what we need is a clear published rule book. Not just criteria for suspending people but criteria for unsuspending people.
While reinstating certain members may be backed by specific or case-by-case evidence, it becomes worrying when the history of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party is taken into consideration, especially with its long history of reinstating deeply Islamophobic and racist members.
Just this week, the Conservative leader of the Swale Borough Council, Andrew Bowles, was reinstated after only a 13-day suspension for retweeting a deeply troubling post that portrayed right-wing fascist Tommy Robinson as a patriot.
Last September, Jeff Potts, sitting as the Solihull Borough Council councillor, was suspended after retweeting a post that stated all Muslims should be deported from the country or terrorists would kill innocent countrymen. He was reinstated in November.
In 2017, Rosemary Carroll, the councillor for the Pendle Borough Council, was only suspended for three months after sharing a post on Facebook that compared Asians to dogs. She was conveniently reinstated right before the local election count, ensuring the Conservatives won control of the area.
Mike Payne, the Calderdale councillor, was suspended when it was found that he had previously shared an article calling Muslims “parasites”, although he was shortly reinstated back into the Party.
With the rise of neo-fascism and white supremacist ideologies, it becomes imperative that state-level Islamophobia is handled with the utmost seriousness.
In the wake of the New Zealand terrorist attack, in where 50 innocent Muslims were shot to death by a white supremacist, the Conservative Party must do more to ensure British Muslims feel safe and valued in their country.