Sabotaged Gaza Ceasefire Vote in parliament triggers spate of Tory Islamophobic attacks

Media outpour underpins right wing Tory MPs in branding peaceful protesters as ‘Islamists’ and ‘Left-wing extremists’

The House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, was accused last Wednesday of deliberate sabotage, when in an unprecedented move, he decided to table a Labour Party Motion on a rare SNP emergency debate day. The effect was to stave off an expected major rebellion by as many as 100 Labour MPs, who were predicted to vote with the SNP and with their consciences for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.  The breach of parliamentary protocol which collapsed the critical vote on an SNP Gaza ceasefire motion last week, very quickly turned into a media rant and promoted the false narrative and Islamophobic trope, that all Muslim protesters, now branded Islamist and left wing extremists were destroying Britain’s democratic institutions and threatening parliamentary members.

While those on the right wing of the Tory Party sought to divert attention away from the core issues of the imminent assault on Rafah – the urgent need to call for a ceasefire and what was in effect a sabotage of the SNP motion vote, many MPs from across all sides of the political spectrum were horrified at the implications of the speakers brash departure from parliamentary procedure.

‘A blocking manoeuvre…a complete abuse of democracy’

Dianne Abbot, a former Shadow Home Secretary for the Labour Party, writing in the Morning Star, this weekend, was unequivocal in her position about the implications of the events, which took place in parliament. She wrote:

‘Of course, the scenes in Parliament were disgraceful. It was a stitch-up and an abuse of democracy. The SNP motion included the call for an immediate ceasefire and was critical of Israel’s use of collective punishment in its attacks. I and many others, were intent on voting for it because it was unambiguous in its call for a ceasefire. But we never got the opportunity. This is because the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, bowed to pressure from the Labour leadership to call their much inferior amendment. The effect of that decision, which was unprecedented, was to stymie the SNP motion altogether. This is widely understood to have been a blocking manoeuvre to prevent the SNP motion and spare Keir Starmer the possibility of further divisions opening in the Labour Party. It was a complete abuse of democracy, and all those who perpetrated it can never be taken seriously again in espousing their democratic credentials.’

The Leader of the SNP in Westminster, Stephen Flynn declares ‘no confidence’ in Commons Speaker

Braverman: ‘Islamists in charge of Britain now’

The former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, decided to blame the debacle in parliament on Islamists and left wing extremists, as she exploded her latest assault in Thursday 22nd February’s Daily Telegraph, in an article entitled ‘Islamists are in charge of Britain now.’

The article published remarkably, as the death toll in Gaza, this week exceeded 30,000 – most of whom are women and children and as the world held its breath awaiting the expected devastating IDF assault on Rafah, Suella Braverman, published her unashamed polemic against those who were calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

She proceeded to label the hundreds of thousands of protesters who have marched in support of a ceasefire in Gaza as ‘Islamists’, ‘left wing extremists’ and ‘anti-Semites’, who she insisted, were responsible for destroying Britain’s democratic institutions and of bullying and threatening members of parliament, of taking over our streets, hounding teachers out of schools, and ensuring that campuses have become dangerous places for Jews as ‘mass extremist parades’ bully ‘our institutions…and our country into submission’  

Muslim Peer, Baroness Warsi accuses colleagues of ‘ratcheting up hate’

Baroness Warsi accuses Braverman of ratcheting up hate and setting the country alight

This shocking assault given prominence in the Telegraph, was condemned by many of her parliamentary colleagues, including Conservative peer, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who wrote on her Twitter account:

‘I swear the desperate and divisive bull*** that some of my colleagues spout is embarrassing. That they are prepared to divide, ratchet up hate, and set our country alight just for political posturing is shocking and dangerous’

The following day, Conservative MP, Lee Anderson, added to the storm, when he made controversial Islamophobic remarks during an interview on Friday’s GB News, which seemed to echo the remarks made by Braverman. During the broadcast, he launched an attack on London’s Muslim Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He said that Khan had:

‘…given our capital city away to his mates…I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country…But what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan, and they’ve got control of London’

Anderson refuses to apologise and is suspended from the Conservative Party

Under pressure from both Labour Party and Conservative Party MPs, Anderson was asked to apologise by the Chief Whip of the Conservative Party.  Controversially, Anderson refused and seemed happier to have the whip removed than to retract his words.  

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) revealed that it had written to the Conservative Chair, Richard Holden demanding an investigation into claims of ‘structural Islamophobia’ within the party.

Conservative Party is institutionally Islamophobic

Zara Mohammed, MCB’s Secretary General, said:

‘Our view is that the Islamophobia in the party is institutional, tolerated by the leadership and seen as acceptable by great swathes of the party membership’

The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan suggested that Anderson’s comments were:

‘pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred…Racism is racism. The message it sends is Muslims are fair game when it comes to racism’

The former Conservative Chancellor, Sir Sajid Javid, referred to Anderson’s comments as:

 ‘a ridiculous thing to say’

Anderson comments: ‘A despicable slur on Sadiq Khan’

The former Chief of Staff to Theresa May, Lord Gavin Barwell, described the remarks as:

 ‘a despicable slur on Sadiq Khan’

Deputy Prime Minister refuses to condemn comments made by Suella Braverman and Anderson

Speaking on Sunday’s Laura Kuensberg programme on BBC, The Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, seemed unable or unwilling to condemn the remarks, despite repeated attempts by Kuensberg to press him to do so. She said: 

‘As you have said…words matter. People respond to what politicians say and what Lee Anderson said was strikingly similar to what Suella Braverman, the former Home Secretary until recently, wrote in the Telegraph. She said ‘The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now’. Now you’ve said clearly, that what Lee Anderson said could be taken as being offensive. That’s very similar. So do you think what she said could be taken as being offensive too?’

Dowden responded simply by saying that he disagrees with what Suella Braverman said, but regards it in a different category to the comments made by Anderson. He dismissed concerns about Suella Braverman’s comments as ‘legitimate political debate’, choosing to focus on what he described as his:

‘deep concern for these threats and intimidations which are often coming from Islamic extremists. We shouldn’t be shy of calling that out…but I don’t believe that what Suella said, crosses the line in the same way that Lee Anderson’s did…I do very much agree with the concerns that she is raising about the threats coming often from Islamic extremists, which are being used to intimidate Jews in this country and are being used to intimidate a debate in our own parliament…Worries about language, should not stop democratic elected politicians doing their duty of calling this out and seeing what a seminal moment it is for our country this week’

Protesters outside parliament accused of intimidation and a threat to democracy

FUND HONEST INDEPENDENT MUSLIM JOURNALISM

Donate today and help us tell the stories that matter. Together we can make a difference

Donate today and help us tell the stories that matter.
Together we can make a difference

The mainstream media has been justifying genocide in Gaza. Islamophobia and censorship are the norm. We're changing that. Our journalism has reached over 300M impressions on social media since October 7th. On TV, our rolling news coverage has featured key figures like Husam Zomlot, Avi Shlaim, Gideon Levy and Jeremy Corbyn.

We need your support to reveal the truth and ensure our voices are heard. Donate today.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

DONATE TO GOOD CAUSES
THIS DHUL HIJJAH

DONATE TO GOOD
CAUSES THIS DHUL HIJJAH

Give your
zakat and
sadaqah
to trusted charities.

Give your zakat and sadaqah to trusted charities.

Our 100% donation policy means every penny goes directly to your favourite charities.

Automate your donations over the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah and make the most of these blessed days

CONTACT INFORMATION

Islam Channel
Media House
428-432 Ley Street
London
IG2 7BS

+(44) 207 374 4511