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UK: Muslim body urges Tories to deal with Islamophobia

Former UK British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson [BackBoris2012 Campaign Team/Flickr]
Former UK British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson [BackBoris2012 Campaign Team/Flickr]

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has called on the Conservative party to respond to serious concerns of Islamophobia following remarks made by former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Anadolu reports.

“Today the Muslim Council of Britain calls on the Conservatives to respond to serious concerns of Islamophobia in the party, especially after Boris Johnson made unacceptable remarks comparing Muslim women who wear the niqab to letterboxes and bank robbers,” a statement from the MCB read.

“The intentional usage of the words in a national newspaper appears to be to pander to the far right,” the statement added, citing Johnson’s article on the niqab he had written in the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday.

In his opinion piece, he said Muslim women wearing burqas look like “letterboxes” and compared them to “bank robbers”.

Read: UK urges restraint between Saudi Arabia and Canada

The MCB also said that while it was right for party chairman Brandon Lewis to call on Johnson to apologize, the party should now act upon calls that had been previously ignored.

The MCB put forward a number of questions for Lewis and the Tory leadership, asking if Johnson’s apology should “only cover his Telegraph outburst? Or will it also include previous incendiary remarks?”, remarks that included “Islam is the problem” and that “Islamophobia was a natural selection”.

In recent months the MCB has increasingly called for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia within the Tory party and among its members, both in parliament and in its leadership.

Its calls have been supported and carried forward by a plethora of institutions and senior individuals such as Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a member of the House of Lords, and the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn.

The MCB is an umbrella organization that represent over 500 mosques and institutions in the UK.

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