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Joint Statement: Commission for Countering Extremism

A number of academics including Rob Faure Walker (University College London and PREVENT Digest) have launched a joint statement expressing their concern with the Commission for Countering Extremism. Amongst the signatories are Dr Tarek Younis (UCL & British Academy Fellow), Tom Smith (Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Portsmouth), Lee Jasper (Fmr Policing Director for London, Momentum Black Caucus Press Officer), Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick) and Asim Qureshi (Research Director, CAGE). Read more

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If Theresa May doesn’t call out Boris Johnson, her message to the Muslim community will be heard loud and clear

There is a “simmering underbelly of Islamophobia” in the Tory party. That’s what the former chair of the Conservatives recently told the Home Affairs Select Committee. Baroness Warsi has continued to speak out on this for years, with marked bravery and dignity in the face of abuse and stonewalling. We now know that this issue of Islamophobia has repeatedly been raised within the party, and to date Theresa May has done nothing. As for her party chair Brandon Lewis? He has done just as little. Read more

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Boris Johnson’s contempt for Muslim women is part of a dangerous pattern

On Monday, in a column in the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson compared fully veiled Muslim women to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”. Thankfully, both the prime minister Theresa May and the Conservative party chair Brandon Lewis have asked Johnson to apologise. Others in my party and in the media have seen fit to defend him. I’d like to set out precisely why his remarks are indefensible, and have no place in the modern Conservative party – and the action I think needs to follow. Read more

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Boris Johnson accused of ‘dog-whistle’ Islamophobia over burqa comments

Boris Johnson has been accused of “dog-whistle” Islamophobia by a former Conservative chair after he compared Muslim women in burqas to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers.” Sayeeda Warsi said the lack of action by the party over Johnson’s comments showed it was “business as usual.” Labour demanded that the Conservative chair, Brandon Lewis, refer the former foreign secretary for mandatory equalities training, amid renewed calls for the party to open an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the party. Read more