Socialist Worker

Tory racism lies behind counter-terrorism laws

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2607

Savid Javid appeared on TV and brushed off claims of racism in the Tory party

Savid Javid appeared on TV and brushed off claims of racism in the Tory party (Pic: Chatham House/Flickr)


Tory prime minister Theresa May is fighting to hide her party’s deep-seated Islamophobia.

The growing furore over Islamophobia in the Tory Party came as home secretary Sajid Javid announced fresh “counter-terrorism” policies to spy on Muslims on Monday.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) last week wrote to party chair Brandon Lewis demanding an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tories.

It called for a “full audit to ensure racists and bigots have no place in the party”.

The letter listed Islamophobic incidents involving Tory party members from the last two months.

They include Mike Payne, a Tory councillor from west Yorkshire, who shared an article on 5 April that called Muslims “parasites” who “live off the state and breed like rabbits”.

Philipa Auton, a Tory council candidate in Hounslow in west London, retweeted Nazi Tommy Robinson on 24 April.

She also argued to “Revoke Muslim immigration, repatriate and secure European borders” to “keep Europe safe.”

Such incidents should come as no surprise. They are “just the tip of the iceberg and what is in the public domain” according to the MCB.

As home secretary and then prime minister, Theresa May has pushed policies that make the party attractive to racists and bigots. And she’s not the only one that’s relied on Islamophobia in the hope of winning votes.

Tory London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith ran a vicious racist campaign against Labour’s Sadiq Khan in 2016.

Then prime minister David Cameron repeated false claims in the Commons that south London Imam Suliman Gani was an Isis supporter. He said that Khan had “appeared again and again”

alongside him.

Brush

Ridiculously, Javid tried to brush off the allegations on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show by saying, “Just look at who the home secretary is in this country.”

He claimed that the MCB “does not represent Muslims”.

But even Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said there was “simmering underbelly” of Islamophobia in the party.

Javid’s defence is like claiming that racism does not exist within US society because Barack Obama was twice elected president.

As home secretary, Javid is directly responsible for pushing through racist “counter-terrorism” policies that target Muslims.

The Prevent strategy already forces public sector workers, such as teachers, to spy on Muslims for signs of radicalisation.

Javid is now piloting the Consent scheme in Birmingham and Manchester. It focuses on people who are released from prison for terror offences—which can include posting messages online.

This will give the cops and local authorities access to information the British state says it is targeting. No one on the list will know they’re on it and its contents can’t be disputed.

Tony Blair’s New Labour government strengthened Islamophobia to try and break opposition to the US and Britain’s wars in the Middle East.

The Tories have continued that strategy and sought to paint Muslims as an “enemy within” segregated from British values.

Fighting Islamophobia means building a mass movement that takes on the Tories’ racist attacks.


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