According to Sadiq Khan, Lee Anderson is exacerbating the already existing hostility towards Muslims.

Estimated read time 6 min read

Sadiq Khan has condemned Lee Anderson for exacerbating anti-Muslim sentiment by claiming that Islamists have taken over London and its mayor.

The mayor of London denounced Anderson’s remarks as Islamophobic and perpetuating the idea that Muslims are acceptable targets for racism.

He criticized the prime minister for not denouncing his MP’s statements, stating that Rishi Sunak and the cabinet were now involved.

Khan made these remarks in response to Anderson, who represents Ashfield, stating on a Friday evening segment of GB News that Khan had “handed over” our city to Islamists, labeling them as Khan’s “friends”.

Khan, in a statement to Sky News on Saturday morning, denounced the words of the high-ranking Conservative as Islamophobic, anti-Muslim, and racist.

He highlighted a recent increase in hate crimes and stated, “These remarks only exacerbate the already burning fire of anti-Muslim animosity.”

I fear that the complete lack of response from Rishi Sunak and the cabinet is a form of endorsement towards this racism.

I fear it validates the existence of a racial hierarchy among many individuals in the country.

I am unsure why Rishi Sunak and his cabinet members are not speaking out against and denouncing this.

It seems as though they are actively involved in perpetuating this type of racism. This message suggests that Muslims are acceptable targets for racism and anti-Muslim sentiments.

“The current state in the United Kingdom in 2024 is not satisfactory.”

MPs from both the Tory and Labour parties have voiced their outrage over Anderson’s comments, with former chancellor Sajid Javid labeling them as “absurd”. Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy described them as “completely shameful”.

Previously, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) urged for Anderson’s removal from the parliamentary party.

The MCB expressed its disapproval of the comment, calling it “disgusting” and condemning the party’s lack of response to such extreme views.

A representative stated: “During a week where we are informed of a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, prominent MPs and a contributor to the Conservative party are promoting commonly used rhetoric that spreads conspiracy theories and negative stereotypes about Muslims supposedly taking control of our nation.”

The head of the Labour party, Anneliese Dodds, sent a letter to her Conservative counterpart, Ric Holden, urging him to address and take tangible steps towards addressing Islamophobia within the Tory party.

She stated that Anderson’s remarks were only a small part of a larger issue, and that they were part of a worrisome trend of Islamophobic comments being overlooked and not addressed.

She added: “Lee Anderson’s comments were unambiguously Islamophobic and Rishi Sunak’s failure to suspend the whip or take any other action speaks volumes …

Sunak faces a definitive decision: demonstrate strength and remove support, or be forever labeled as the Tory leader who was unable to prevent far-right language within their own party.

The correspondence indicates that, despite a examination into the issue of Islamophobia within the Conservative party in 2021, the party has not effectively addressed it.

The criticism towards Anderson persisted on Saturday, with Nus Ghani, the business minister, denouncing her colleague’s statements as “reckless and risky”.

She wrote on X: “I have had a conversation with Lee Anderson. I have denounced Islamic extremism (and have faced criticism from both extreme left and right, as well as Islamists).”

I do not believe that Sadiq Khan is being influenced by Islamists. Accusing him of such is unwise and risky. This constant discussion is becoming exhausting.

Gavin Barwell, a member of the Conservative party and former chief of staff for Theresa May, denounced the remark as a “disgraceful insult.”

Neil Garratt, the head of the Conservative party at City Hall, expressed that while he has many criticisms of Mayor Khan, he does not believe that he is an Islamist or influenced by Islamists. He strongly disagrees with those who claim otherwise.

David Lammy, the opposition’s foreign secretary, criticized the remarks as “completely unacceptable” and accused them of promoting hatred during a crucial time for our nation to unite. He demanded that Sunak take action to revoke the Conservative party’s membership privileges.

Sajid Javid, the ex-Conservative chancellor, was one of several who denounced Anderson’s statement as “absurd”.

On Saturday morning, Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, was asked if Anderson should be removed from the Tory party. Shapps stated that it is up to the party to decide. He did not comment on whether Anderson is a suitable representative for the Tories, but acknowledged that in a democracy, individuals have the right to express their thoughts. Shapps also noted that Anderson is known for being outspoken.

During a week when former prime minister Liz Truss spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (Cpac) in the US, she claimed that her attempts to decrease taxes were impeded by the “administrative state and the deep state”.

The ex-prime minister eventually participated in an interview with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and chose not to speak as Bannon praised far-right figure Tommy Robinson as a “hero”.

Javid reprimanded her for failing to oppose the statement, stating: “I would expect every MP to directly address such a statement. Liz should be more aware.”

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, wrote a letter to Sunak on Friday expressing concern over the “egregious” statements made by Truss and Anderson, and stated that they should not be ignored or accepted without challenge.

The suspension of Anderson was welcomed by the Muslim Council of Britain. However, they believe that the Conservative party has a prevalent issue with Islamophobia and that Anderson’s comments are just a small part of a larger problem.

A representative from the Conservative party stated that after an investigation and an independent review led by Prof Swaran Singh over the course of several years, no proof of institutional racism was found within the party.

Before Khan’s statement, a source from the Conservative party stated: “Lee was only expressing the fact that as the mayor and PCC for London, he has not effectively addressed the concerning issue of Islamist marches that have occurred in London lately.”


You May Also Like

More From Author