Tory Islamophobia scandal deepens
With Boris Johnson accused of "courting fascism" by a Tory Peer, and a Scottish Tory Councillor being forced to apologise for comparing Muslim women to "umbrella stands", the Tory Islamophobia scandal looks set to rumble on.
Lord Cooper, a former aide of David Cameron had said Johnson was guilty of “moral emptiness”, casual racism and “courting fascism”.
“The rottenness of Boris Johnson goes deeper even than his causal racism and his equally casual courting of fascism." he said, adding:“He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment. His career is a saga of moral emptiness and lies; pathetic; weak and needy; the opposite of strong.”
It comes after news that verbal abuse had risen in the wake of Johnson's comments.
Iman Atta, director of Tell Mama, a charity that deals with Islamphobic abuse, said she wasn't suprised to see hate crime spike after the comments in Johnson's column.
Tell Mama also pointed to an example where two pensioners had repeated Johnson's comments in front of an Muslim women, saying “she does look like a letterbox though”.
"In 2017, 62 per cent of Muslim women reporting to Tell MAMA were wearing Islamic clothing when anti-Muslim and Islamophobic incidents occurred. Of that figure (353 women), almost one in ten had worn the niqab."
"As with previous annual reports, we have warned that politicians and media outlets must consider their choice of language around high-profile events, as associated media coverage often stimulates public discourse on issues such as terrorism, religious expression, and immigration, which can legitimise racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic prejudice."
"Individuals with underlying prejudice, therefore, may feel emboldened to target those they feel to be deserving of abuse to defend the status of the dominant ‘in-group’, when forms of rhetoric are normalised, and the unacceptable becomes acceptable."
Meanwhile in Scotland, Aberdeenshire Tory councillor, Ron McKail, has caused outrage after sharing a graphic online which compared Muslim women to patio umbrella.
The caption to the image reads: “I spent half an hour talking to them, wanting to learn about their culture until the bartender cut me off and told me they were patio umbrellas.”
This isn't the first time Ron McKail has come under fire for his social media posts, after previously sharing content from the British far-right group, Britain First and the English Defense League.
At the time Mr. McKail said: “This was naive of me but I am not that savvy with social media and I didn’t realise the source."
“I did not realise these posts were connected to Britain First and I want nothing to do with that group.
“I was concentrating on the messages to support our troops as that’s something I feel very strongly about because I was in the RAF for 12 years.”
“I’m extremely sorry to anybody who is offended.”
A Scottish Tory spokesman added: “Councillor McKail has taken the post down and apologised. He understands that this is not appropriate.”