14 Members of UK’s Conservative Party Suspended for anti-Muslim Comments on Social Media

The Muslim Council of Britain has requested an independent inquiry.

A total of 14 members of the UK’s Conservative party have been suspended for posting Islamophobic comments on social media . The comments, described by those who have read them, were racist and abusive. Comments were posted on Twitter, and several were in a Facebook group that supports British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg. One post even mapped the location of all British mosques, with multiple hostile reactions including one of the UK not being a Muslim country and that Islamists are taking over Britain.

The actions by the Conservative party were a response to the discovery of abusive and racist remarks by the Twitter account @matesjacob. The slurs were made by people who have indicated they are Conservative party members. The author of @matesjacob, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he had made a profile of 25 individuals whom he believed were members of the Conservative party during that time. Other than the 14 members handed suspension orders, the Conservative party memberships of three others were found to have lapsed. The position of the remaining eight is unclear. The Conservatives, however, do not believe them to be members.

These suspensions happened during a time when the party is being scrutinized for its stand on Islamophobia. Sayeeda Warsi, the former chairperson of the Tory party, had requested an internal inquiry and suggested that senior party members like Theresa May should seriously consider the problem. Warsi also accused Sajid Javid, the UK home secretary, of engaging in “dog-whistle” politics. She told a media house that regardless of Javid's pandering to the right section of the Conservative party, the latter will always put his Muslim identity first. She claimed the problem of Islamophobia within the Conservative party was first highlighted by her in 2016.

Several of the comments posted said Javid should not get votes as such an action would help Islamists to run the country. A spokesperson of the Conservative party said the Rees-Mogg supporting Facebook group is not affiliated with the Conservatives but added the party members had identified a few individuals who have Conservative party affiliations. These people, the spokesperson reiterated, have been suspended, and an investigation into the matter is underway.

A Muslim Council of Britain spokesperson said the flagged posts display an astonishing level of Islamophobia within the Conservative party. The Muslim Council requested a full independent inquiry on anti-Muslim abuse which exists inside the Conservative party.

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