24 April, 2024
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UK: Poll suggests majority of Conservative Party members think Islam threatens British ‘way of life’


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UK: Poll suggests majority of Conservative Party members think Islam threatens British ‘way of life’

52 percent of party members also back idea that there are ‘no-go areas’ for non-Muslims in the UK

MEE staff

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shakes hands with delegates at the annual Conservative Party conference in Manchester, England, on 4 October 2023 (Justin Tallis/AFP)

A majority of the members of the UK‘s ruling Conservative Party regard Islam as a threat to the British “way of life”, according to a new poll by racism monitoring group Hope Not Hate.

The poll of 521 Conservative Party members found that 58 percent thought Islam was a threat to the British way of life, in contrast to the general public, only 30 percent of whom think the same.

52 percent of party members also agreed that there were “no-go areas” in the UK for non-Muslims.

The new survery of party members, who number just over 170,000 people, comes as the Conservatives find themselves embroiled in a row over Islamophobia.

“Our findings are deeply disturbing and alarming,” said Nick Lowles, CEO of Hope Not Hate, in a statement. 

“They underscore the problem that the Conservative Party has with Islamophobia. It’s not just that they are tolerating senior politicians making anti-Muslim statements, but that their membership holds opinions that are out of step with the values of modern Britain,” said Lowles.

“It’s time that the Conservative Party confronts this issue head on, especially at a time when tensions are fraught and communities are being divided.”

A number of senior Conservatives have, in recent days, courted outrage for making anti-Muslim comments or supporting conspiracy theories about Muslims.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss told American conservatives that she believed an upcoming by-election in Rochdale could see a “radical jihadist party” taking a seat in parliament, while former London minister Paul Scully backed allegations that certain parts of the UK were no-go areas for non-Muslims.

Much of the current controversy around Islamophobia has been sparked by the ongoing war in Gaza.

Since 7 October, rates of both antisemitism and Islamophobia have spiked across the UK, according to various monitoring groups.

Neoconservatives and Islamophobes, not Muslims, are the real threat to British democracy

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According to anti-Muslim hate monitor Tell Mama, there were 2,010 Islamophobic incidents documented between 7 October and 7 February, compared with the 600 it recorded for the same period the previous year.

Last week, former Home Secretary Suella Braverman sparked further outrage after claiming that “Islamists” were now in control of the UK.

Writing in The Telegraph, Braverman claimed that politicians were “burying their heads in the sand” over the spread of “extremism” throughout the country’s institutions.

She specifically referenced pro-Palestine demonstrations as proof, as well as claiming that university campuses were not safe for Jewish people.

“The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists, and the antisemites are in charge now,” she wrote.

“They have bullied the Labour Party, they have bullied our institutions, and now they have bullied our country into submission.”

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