While researching a previous question (What are some examples of antisemitism in the Labour Party?), I found a lot of references to "Tory Islamophobia". The context of these accusations was sometimes a whataboutism argument in response to accusations of antisemitism (examples here and here), so the reliability of these sources is in question.

As I said in my previous question, it seems unlikely that the party in power could have a problem like this, but I don't want to dismiss Owen Jones or The Guardian without first doing some research.

To that end, what are some examples of Islamophobia in the Conservative party, if any?


2 Answers 2


Some more examples (in addition to those listed by James); headlines are put in bold and quotes from the main article are put in italic:

The Sun reported on 31st of May 2018:

Title: Tory candidate suspended for suggesting ‘people hang bacon to protect homes from terrorism’. Source: the Sun

The Independent reported on the 4th of June 2018:

Title: Two Conservative councillors suspended following allegations of Islamophobic comments on social media

Quote from the article: "Linda Freedman, a councillor in Barnet, was suspended by the Conservative Party after it appeared she expressed support for the detention of Muslims on social media." Source: the Independent

The BBC reported on 13th of July 2018:

Title: Tory MP Michel Fabricant accused of Islamophobia over Sadiq Khan tweet

Quote from the article: "Michael Fabricant posted a cartoon showing the Mayor of London's head on an inflatable balloon, engaged in a sex act with a pig." Source: BBC

Not an example of Islamophobia, but a column in the Guardian by Baroness Warsi (former minister of state for conservative party, first Muslim to serve in cabinet) (dated 4th of July 2018):

Title: No more excuses. Time for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia

Quote from the column: "Nearly three years since I raised these issues with the then chairman, a year after submitting a six-page dossier to the party and nearly a year after I wrote to the prime minister, we now have a string of voices adding to the chorus of concern. The Muslim Council of Britain has called for an inquiry; the Times published a leader urging the party to “set Muslim minds at rest”; and Lord Sheikh warned that bigotry was a “matter of grave concern”, the Muslim Women’s Network UK, British Muslims for Secular Democracy and others have supported calls for an inquiry and yet absolutely nothing tangible has happened." Souce: the Guardian

  • Boris Johnson described women wearing the niqab as looking like "letter boxes" or "bank robbers". This was called "inflammatory and divisive" by the Equality Commission.
  • Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East has been accused of several islamophobic acts:
    • He invited Tapan Gosht, an Hindu nationalist to visit Parliament. Mr Gosht has expressed anti-islam views, including praising the ethnic cleaning of Muslims in Burma.
    • He linked to an article titled "Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children part of their culture". He later said this was a mistake.
  • During the London Mayoral campaign, Zac Goldsmith attempted to link his Labour rival Sadiq Khan to Islamist extremists.
  • Shazia Awan-Scully said that she was treated as a token, and praised for choosing not to wear the hijab "I was the token, tick box exercise - a modern Muslim woman that they could show off."
  • Eric Pickles wrote a letter to British Muslim leaders which seemed to imply Muslims were responsible for allowing terrorism.
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    These are some examples which various sources have described as islamophobic, or being islamophobic "dog whistles". I'm not suggesting that these people are islamphobic, only that they have been described as such.
    – James K
    Aug 3, 2018 at 9:44
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    So, basically you have one incident that maybe kinda can be called Islamophobic (a person invited ANOTHER person, for reasons that may or may not have had anything to do with Islam); and 4 examples of things that have nothing to do with Islamophobia. Oh, and your wording is intentionally misleading on on of them, the actual headlines for Goldsmith as can be found after 5 secs of Googling are "accused of giving cover to extremists", which is in no way shape or form "Islamophobia" regardless of whether Mr. Zac was correct or not.
    – user4012
    Aug 3, 2018 at 12:36
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    Just because someone describes the earth as flat, objective reality is that it's a spheroid. Having someone politically motivated baselessly call something "islamophobia" when it doesn't fit the objective definition, is not an excuse to propagate that slander.
    – user4012
    Aug 3, 2018 at 15:16
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    Actually, if you read my comment, basic research will show that this was NOT the implication. Implication was that specific actions/statements by Khan - regardless of Khan's religious affliliation - gave cover to terrorists. By basically being "against law and order" - a typical, (and in my personal opinion, at least somewhat accurate) attack on Labour politicians in UK and left wing politicians everywhere. But one that has nothing to do with Khan's religion, only his political views and anti-police activity as a lawyer.
    – user4012
    Aug 3, 2018 at 16:16
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    @user4012 Is this "anti-police activity" his representing police officers who were suiing the Met? That was the most obvious case I could find ("thorn in the Met's side", going by the Guardian headline). If so, it seems not so much "anti-police" as holding the Met to account. Which is what I'd look for in a Mayor (if I were to live in London).
    – owjburnham
    Aug 6, 2018 at 10:29

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