Conservatives Must Not Give Bigotry a Free Pass in Europe

13 September 2018

The Muslim Council of Britain today expressed its concern that Conservative Party MEPs almost unanimously supported far-right leader Viktor Orban in a crunch vote in the European parliament yesterday. The Conservative Party were only governing party to support the far-right in this vote.

Mr Orban has a track record on bigotry. He has whipped up prejudice and attacked minorities, for example, singling out immigrants as “Muslim invaders” and claiming his country is a last bastion in the fight against the “Islamisation” of Europe. He also stands accused of deploying antisemitism in his opposition to a Jewish philanthropist.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “At a time when there are growing concerns about the rise of the far-right across Europe, it is deeply disappointing that Conservative Party MEPs were whipped to align themselves with far-right parties in supporting Mr Orban.”

“One can only hope that the rights of Muslims and other minorities are not considered expendable as support is sought for the government’s Brexit position, *as appears to have been the case with this vote*. The Conservative Party has thus far resisted calls to have an inquiry into Islamophobia amongst its ranks. This latest action raises further concerns of bigotry in the party.

“We would like to specifically pay tribute to Nosheena Mobarik, the only Conservative MEP who rebelled, and stood up against the Islamophobia of Mr Orban.”

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