British Muslim group expresses fear at big Boris Johnson win

Aditi Khanna, London
Published : 23:55, Dec 14, 2019 | Updated : 23:56, Dec 14, 2019

Britain`s Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves as he arrives at a polling station, at the Methodist Central Hall, to vote in the general election in London, Britain, December 12, 2019. REUTERSThere is a sense of fear over an increase in Islamophobia across the UK as Boris Johnson takes charge after a landslide victory in the General Election, a leading organisation representing British Muslims has warned.
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which has been calling for an independent inquiry into anti-Muslim conduct within the Johnson-led Conservative Party, urged the Prime Minister to begin the process of healing within the party and more widely after a divisive election campaign.
In a statement released soon after the results were declared on Friday, MCB Secretary General Harun Khan said: “Mr Johnson commands a majority, but there is a palpable sense of fear amongst Muslim communities around the country.
“We entered the election campaign period with long standing concerns about bigotry in our politics and our governing party. Now we worry that Islamophobia is ‘oven-ready’ for government. Mr Johnson has been entrusted with huge power, and we pray it is exercised responsibly for all Britons.”
Describing the 2019 General Election campaign as being the most “divisive in living memory”, the group added: “We understand that the Prime Minister insists that he is a One Nation Tory. We earnestly hope that is the case and urge him to lead from the centre and engage with all communities.
"We must all redouble our efforts to heal the country and bring communities together.”
The MCB’s statement came as the former Conservative Party chair, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, renewed her call for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia.
She said on Twitter: “My party must start healing its relationship with British Muslims. Independent Inquiry into Islamophobia is a must first step. The battle to root out racism must now intensify.”
On the campaign trail, Boris Johnson was forced to formally apologise for any "hurt and offence" as he was confronted on the issue of Islamophobia with the Conservative Party and his own perceived anti-Muslim statements in newspaper columns in the past.
While the Tories battled attacks of Islamophobia during the campaign, the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party was deluged with claims of antisemitism.