UK: Conservatives face independent inquiry into 'Islamophobia'

UK government rejected a working definition of 'Islamophobia' less than three months ago

The Conservatives will face an independent inquiry into Islamophobia, party chairman James Cleverly has confirmed.

The investigation comes after a YouGov survey for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found that 56 per cent of the Tory membership thought Islam was ‘generally a threat’ to the British way of life and just 22 per cent thought it was ‘generally compatible’.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

A previous YouGov study carried out by anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate also found that just 8 per cent of the party’s members ‘would be proud of Britain, if we were to elect a Muslim as our prime minister’.

The survey also revealed that 67 per cent of Tory members believe ‘there are areas in Britain that operate under Sharia law’.

An inquiry into anti-Muslim racism and hatred was suggested by Sajid Javid, now the Chancellor, during the Tory leadership race.

Asked on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday whether there will be an independent inquiry, Mr Cleverly said: ‘Yes there will be.

‘We will be guided by a formal definition of Islamophobia but the point is we do and will always take firm action on anyone who steps outside the boundaries of appropriate behaviour.’

Former party chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi told Metro.co.uk: ‘I welcome the acceptance of my party for finally recognising the need for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia.'

‘I would suggest the APPG on British Muslims' definition of 'Islamophobia' is an appropriate definition to guide this process. I hope this process is independent, transparent and retains the confidence of British Muslim communities across the UK.’

The UK government rejected a working definition of “Islamophobia” less than three months ago, although it was accepted by the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats. The definition was as follows:

'Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.'

Co-chair of the APPG on British Muslims, Wes Streeting MP said: ‘Given the catalogue of evidence of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, an independent inquiry into Islamophobia is both welcome and overdue.'

‘For this process to have any credibility with Muslim communities it must be genuinely independent and willing to shine a light into uncomfortable corners of the Conservative Party.'

Author's comment: The problematic definition of Islamophobia is why the term should be used extremely carefully, if at all. It's not a phobia when you consider the actions of Muslims around the world, slaughtering non-Muslims on a daily basis. A better term would be Islamo-realism, or even Islamo-nausea, as we're all sick of it.

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