Tories conspired to ‘use my Muslim faith against me’, says former UK member of European Parliament
Sajjad Karim, a former Conservative member of the European Parliament, claimed Tory MPs plotted to use his Muslim faith politically against him and accused the UK’s ruling party of not taking Islamophobia seriously.
Sajjad Karim has called on Britain’s Conservative Party to fully investigate his claims of Islamophobia [source: Getty]
British Conservative politicians conspired to “use my Muslim faith against me”, a former British Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has claimed.
Sajjad Karim, who was an MEP for 15 years, said The Independent that in 2013 he overheard two Tory MPs – one of whom is now a minister in Boris Johnson’s government – engage in an Islamophobic conversation about him.
The 51-year-old has accused the UK’s ruling party of failing to properly investigate his allegations, which first aired more than two years ago.
“I think it is demonstrative of a lack of real seriousness in the [Conservative] party to treat Islamophobia as a serious problem,” Karim said.
“It’s seen more as a nuisance that somehow needs to be dealt with.”
Karim told the British newspaper that he was contacted by the president’s office and asked to file a complaint after he made the allegations public in September 2019. However, he was never called for questioning in connection with the Tory investigation into complaints of discrimination carried out. by Professor Swaran Singh.
This investigation, published in May 2021, concluded that there was no evidence of institutionalized Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.
Karim’s accusations follow controversial claims by Tory MP Nusrat Ghani who last month alleged that her faith was raised by a government whip as the reason she was sacked as minister in 2020.
“I don’t know the Nus Ghani case or situation… all I know is that in my case the discussion was about how my religious and cultural background could be politically manipulated and used against me,” Karim said.
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party told the Independent that he had “pledged to carry out an investigation during the 2019 leadership race following accusations of discrimination within the party”.
They did not confirm whether an investigation into Karim’s allegations was underway and instead referred to the findings of the Singh inquiry.
Although the Singh Report found no evidence that the Conservative Party had “systematically failed in any particular community”, it acknowledged that there were several instances of “anti-Muslim discrimination by individuals and groups”.
The inquiry has since been criticized by the Muslim Council of Britain, which originally wrote to the Conservative Party chairman asking for an inquiry, for failing to “address the structural nature of Islamophobia within the Party”.