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P
Pa
March 12, 2020

Johnson accused of ‘hiding behind Muslim ancestors’ on Islamophobia

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P
Pa
March 12, 2020

LONDON: Boris Johnson has been accused of “hiding behind the robes of his Muslim ancestors” in dealing with Islamophobia.

Labour MP Naz Shah (Bradford West) made the accusation as she called on the Prime Minister to give assurances to British Muslims that he is not an Islamophobe. Making reference to a new album and short film produced by Riz Ahmed, Ms Shah also warned that hate crime is rising across the UK.

Ms Shah said: “Last week, Emmy award-winning actor and musician, Riz Ahmed, released a hard-hitting new album and the short film, The Long Goodbye, which powerfully expresses the heartbreak of many British minorities of feeling unwanted in Britain where hate crime is rising and hate speech infects public life.

“These are also the concerns of Muslims in my constituency, I urge members of the House to listen to it and watch it. So could the Prime Minister, and for once without hiding behind the robes of his Muslim ancestors — yes, we all know he had them — or clinging to the fig leaf that his ex-chancellor’s (Sajid Javid) presence in a cabinet provided him, or resorting to the potentially divisive tit-for-tat deflection of a very serious issue which is anti-Semitism.

“Three hundred complaints of Islamophobia within his party — can he simply assure me what he is doing to assure Britain’s Muslims that their Prime Minister is not an Islamophobe and takes their concerns seriously?”

Johnson responded: “Well I can reassure her (Ms Shah) there is absolutely no room for hatred or racism in this party, in our Conservative Party, and I wish I could say the same of her own party.”