Sadiq Khan slams Rishi Sunak and Oliver Dowden for ‘enabling anti-Muslim hatred’

"Rishi Sunak’s statement on hatred in politics fails to mention anti-Muslim hatred at all."

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan has slammed Rishi Sunak and Oliver Dowden for “enabling anti-Muslim hatred” after they failed to condemn Lee Anderson over his Islamophobic comments about the mayor.

The widespread and institutional Islamophobia in the Conservative Party has once more come to the fore, after former Tory party deputy chairman Lee Anderson told GB News last week that Islamists” had “got control” of the mayor of London.

Responding on Saturday, Mr Khan described the remarks as “pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”.

After much public pressure, Sunak suspended Anderson and issued a statement where he failed to even mention Anderson or Islamophobia.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden then tried to defend Anderson, claiming that he was not ‘intending to be Islamophobic’, while refusing to say himself whether he thought Anderson’s comments were Islamophobic.

Responding on X, Khan said: “Rishi Sunak’s statement on hatred in politics fails to mention anti-Muslim hatred at all.

“His deputy today refused to condemn Lee Anderson’s racist and Islamophobic remarks. These are just the two most recent examples of enabling anti-Muslim hatred in the Conservative party.

“In recent months we’ve seen a terrifying spike in hate towards Jewish and Muslim communities.

“Racism is racism. There should be no hierarchy. Now, more than ever, we should be seeking to bring our country together. There must be zero tolerance for the politics of division.”

The latest Tory islamophobia scandal comes just days after Tell Mama, which monitors anti-Muslim abuse in the UK found that the number of Islamophobic incidents reported has tripled since the Hamas attacks in Israel last year.

Tell MAMA says it was made aware of 2,010 cases between October 7 and February 7. This was a steep increase compared to the 600 cases reported in the same four-month period the previous year.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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