11 August 2018
Since Boris Johnson’s Islamophobic remarks comparing Muslim women who wear the niqab to robbers and letterboxes, his words have had a negative and potentially dangerous effect on Muslim women and Muslims generally.
On LBC radio, a Muslim woman recounted her experience of being abused on the street and mocked by being compared to a letterbox. A Muslim woman and her children were abused outside a medical centre. Another Muslim woman was called a “f***ing letterbox” by a lady in Parsons Green. Two pensioners began to loudly mock the niqab as they watched a BBC News interview in the waiting area in front of a Muslim woman wearing the hijab.
And Vice News revealed a wave of abusive Islamophobic commentary on ConservativeHome, a website popular with Conservative activists. This comes two days after Tory supporters in the Conservative Politics Society group, which changed its name from Conservative Debating Forum after the Red Roar revealed that it regularly hosted Islamophobic content, gleefully repeated Johnson’s “letterbox” and “bank robber” jibes, including one demanding “kick all Muslims out of our country” adding “got to love Boris”.
At the Muslim Council of Britain, we have also received hate mail.
One read ‘Boris Johnson was saying what most of us think about your pathetic phoney religion and the pathetic hiqab or whatever the stupid thing is called , this is NOT your country look what you put tommy robinson through you are all barbarians [sic].’
Another reads: ‘BORIS IS RIGHT – MUSLIM WOMEN LOOK LIKE “LETTER BOXES” & BANK ROBBERS” & “ISLAM IS THE PROBLEM ” – YOU MUSLIMS FOLLOW A SICK EVIL CROSS DRESSING GROOMING PEDOPHILE RAPIST SEX SLAVE MURDERING WARLORD – FACT & FREEDOM OF SPEECH – STOP CRYING ABOUT IT.’
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “The impact of Boris Johnson’s comments are real and worrying and indicate the importance of a full, transparent and independent investigation into his conduct, in particular given the lack of action in previous cases of Islamophobia in the Party.
“The comments and belief by a number of Conservative MPs that not even an apology is required, has shone a light on the underbelly of Islamophobia that is present within the Party – one that can only be tackled by sincerely changing course and positively responding to calls for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Party.”[ENDS]
Notes to Editors:
1.The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over
500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques,
charities and schools.
2. For further information please contact:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079
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