Tories have not tackled Islamophobia, Conservative Muslim Forum says

Conservatives rosette.

The chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum has accused his party of a failure to take action on Islamophobia and joined calls for an independent inquiry.

Mohammed Amin said the party was perceived as being “anti-Muslim” and had prioritised electoral concerns rather than taking “decisive action”.

“There have been a number of incidents,” he told the BBC.

A Tory spokesman said the party took 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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Last week the Muslim Council of Britain urged the party to launch an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia, saying there were now “more than weekly incidents” involving Tory candidates and representatives.

Mr Amin, who revealed his criticism in an Independent interview, said the forum’s intervention was independent of the Muslim Council of Britain’s demand.

He gave the example of Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, who hosted events in Parliament which a controversial Hindu nationalist attended.

At the time of the events, Labour and the MCB said Tapan Ghosh held “abhorrent” views about Muslims.

Mr Blackman said he did not regret sharing a platform with him, but did not agree with Tweets sent by Mr Ghosh about Muslims. Mr Ghosh has also insisted he is not Islamophobic.

Mr Amin also criticised the unsuccessful London mayoral campaign of Zac Goldsmith, who attempted to link his Labour rival Sadiq Khan to Islamist extremists.

He said he had been a Conservative member for 35 years and did not want to “rock the boat” but: “The Conservative Muslim Forum decided unanimously that the matter was so serious that we should actually make our position known publicly.”

The Conservative hierarchy had “wished the issue would go away” rather than deal with it, he said, adding that while the party was not anti-Muslim it had “given excessive priority to electoral consideration rather than taking decisive action”.

He also drew parallels with complaints about anti-Semitism in Labour ranks, warning of parties becoming “identified by racial or religious lines”.

“There are bad eggs in all parties but you don’t get the same bad eggs in every party,” he added.