Sajid Javid has rejected the Muslim Council of Britain’s call for a probe into alleged Tory Islamophobia, saying “look at who the home secretary is in this country”, despite claiming he wasn’t a Muslim in a 2010 interview.
Talking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Javid, the new Home Secretary, was asked to respond to Tory peer Baroness Warsi’s claim that there was a “simmering anti-Muslim underbelly of Islamophobia within the party.”
Javid rejected this claim, appearing to use his own apparent Muslim identity as proof there was no Islamophobia within the Tory party. He retorted, “let’s just look at who the Home Secretary is in this country. As you just described me, my name is Sajid Javid – I’m the Home Secretary in this country.”
Javid’s assertion that his Muslim identity refuted Tory Islamophobia was picked up by Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan and journalist Hussein Kesvani.
Hasan quoted what Javid had said in a 2010 election hustings in Bromsgrove reported by religious publication, Christian Today, seemingly contradicting his Marr interview on the subject of being a practicing Muslim.
He told Christian Today: “My own family’s heritage is Muslim…but I do not practise any religion…the only religion practised in my house is Christianity.”
‘My own family’s heritage is Muslim…but I do not practise any religion…the only religion practised in my house is Christianity.” – Sajid Javid in 2010
“Look at who the home secretary is” – Sajid Javid today, claiming Muslim identty when Tories accused of anti-Muslim bigotry https://t.co/T5LWwacYNf
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 3, 2018
The Home Secretary went on to question which Muslims the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) actually represent, when challenged by Marr on the issue of an investigation. He said: “The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country. You find me a group of Muslims that thinks that they are represented by the MCB.”
Javid’s jab at the MCB saw an immediate show of solidarity from over 350 mosques and Muslim organizations who on Sunday wrote to the Conservative party calling for an immediate formal inquiry into the “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia from candidates and representatives of the party,” the Independent has revealed.
The Independent reported that 11 umbrella organizations from across the UK, including Manchester, Wales, Belfast and Scotland have backed calls for an urgent inquiry.
In response an MCB spokesperson said: “We very much welcome the many councils of mosques who have written in support of our call for an inquiry into this issue.
“It reflects the importance that this issue holds in Muslim communities across the UK and the breadth of support for the Muslim Council of Britain.”
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