UK’s Conservative Party suspends 14 members over alleged Islamophobia

UK’s Conservative Party suspends 14 members over alleged Islamophobia
Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of failing to tackle Islamophobia ‘head on.’ (AFP)
Updated 05 March 2019

UK’s Conservative Party suspends 14 members over alleged Islamophobia

UK’s Conservative Party suspends 14 members over alleged Islamophobia
  • The members were reportedly suspended after numerous abusive posts were uncovered on social media
  • One individual wrote that they could not vote for Home Secretary Sajid Javid because that would amount to a vote for ‘Islam to lead this country’

LONDON: Britain’s Conservative Party has suspended 14 members over alleged Islamophobia, it emerged on Tuesday, amid calls for an independent inquiry into widespread “bigotry” within the ruling party.

The members were reportedly suspended after numerous abusive posts were uncovered on social media, collected online by the @matesjacob Twitter account.

One individual claimed they would like to “turf all Muslims out of public office,” and another wanted to “get rid of all mosques,” The Guardian reported.

A third wrote they could not vote for Home Secretary Sajid Javid because that would amount to a vote for “Islam to lead this country,” according to reports.

The members were reportedly suspended for Islamophobic posts in a Facebook group called the “Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group.”

A Conservative Party spokesman told Arab News the Facebook group involved “is in no way affiliated with the Conservative Party and many of the people identified on it are not party members.”

“However we have identified some people who are party members and they have been immediately suspended, pending further investigation.

“When we find evidence of members making offensive or inappropriate comments, we consistently take decisive action. Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong and will not be tolerated.”

It is understood that the party is not naming the individuals because it considers the matter “confidential.”

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that the scale of Islamophobia “at all levels of the party is astonishing.”

The MCB spokesperson added: “We’ve seen MPs, councillors and members engage in bigotry that should have no place in a modern Conservative Party. Yet the constructive call by Muslim communities for an independent inquiry into the issue has been ignored again and again. Instead we hear excuses, denials and the responses we would expect when there is an institutional problem. We call again for an independent inquiry, and hope the call will now be heeded”

Baroness Warsi, who was the UK’s first female Muslim cabinet minister, has said Prime Minister Theresa May had “failed to tackle the problem head on” regarding Islamophobia.

Warsi said the party had “turned a blind eye” to prejudice and become “institutionally Islamophobic,” the BBC reported.

“She doesn’t listen, she fails to acknowledge when there is a problem,” Warsi said of May.

“It’s probably symptomatic of the way in which her leadership has dealt with other matters … Burying your head in the sand is not going to make problems go away.”


Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Updated 04 December 2020

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

COTABATO, Philippines: Dozens of militants aligned with the Daesh group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night’s brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
“We are on top of the situation. This is just an isolated case,” regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said in a statement.
Security officials gave differing statements on the motive of the 30 to 50 gunmen. Some said the militants targeted Datu Piang’s police chief over a feud but others speculated that the militants wanted to project that they are still a force to reckon with by attacking the army detachment in the center of the predominantly Muslim town.
Officials denied earlier reports that the militants managed to seize a police station and burn a Roman Catholic church.
When reinforcement troops in armored carriers arrived and opened fire, the militants fled toward a marshland, military officials said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is one of a few small armed groups waging a separatist rural insurrection in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation. The groups opposed a 2014 autonomy deal forged by the largest Muslim rebel group in the south with the Philippine government and have continued on and off attacks despite being weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism.
The armed groups include the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization for kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings.