The Conservative Party has a serious problem with Islamophobia and Boris Johnson’s comments, and the slow reaction to condemn them, make this abundantly clear.
Most people are aware that Boris Johnson's reputation for veering away from party lines, political correctness and facts has a darker side than the maverick buffoon persona he has carefully crafted for himself. These aren't 'gaffs': like Trump, he uses cynical controversy-courting to stay in the news (yes, I’m talking about the £350 a week to the NHS he promised if we left the EU). He will even stoop low enough to liken Muslim women to letterboxes and bank robbers, in order to tap into latent Islamophobia in his Conservative Party fan base.
In the last year numerous examples appeared. Bob Blackman MP shared an article which said that gang rape was part of Muslim culture and then invited an anti-Muslim hate speaker to Parliament. Michael Fabricant MP shared a picture of Sadiq Khan with a pig. Both are still MPs, all they had to do was apologise. Let’s not forget Zac Goldsmith’s disgracefully racist campaign against Sadiq Khan in the London mayoral elections.
At a European level we see that the Conservatives are happy to join forces with racist, anti-Muslim parties like Poland’s Law and Justice in their unholy coalition, the European Conservatives and Reformists. What should we expect from a party happy to collaborate with people who proudly state “if not for us [Law and Justice], they [Muslims] would have built mosques in here” - click here for the source (in Polish).
This is nothing new, but it has to stop. The Muslim Council of Britain, along with Baroness Warsi, Mohamed Sheikh and numerous others, have repeatedly called for an inquiry. The Conservatives will not move, business continues as usual.
I will add my name to that list. As the Representative to Muslim Communities for the Socialists & Democrats (of which Labour is part), I call upon the Conservative Party to hold a public inquiry into the Islamophobia that goes right to its core.