Following the attack on Muslims near the Finsbury Park Mosque, Prime Minister called for an end to anti-Muslim right-wing extremism.
Mehdi Hasan, a prominent Muslim British journalist, argues that May’s claim is contradictory with her own political history, which is steeped in support for Islamaphobic policy and tolerance of Islamaphobia in her Conservative party.
As Home Secretary, she largely ignored “hundreds” of incidents of anti-Muslim violent incidents while focusing intensely on the “Islamist” threat. She ignored a warning from an official in her department that this focus could foster right-wing violence. The official wrote, “I wouldn’t want to get to the point where something happens and we look back and think actually, we should have addressed that as well.”
In 2014, she was an active voice in claiming that Birmingham schools were being taken over by Muslims “extremists” despite limited evidence of radicalisation.
As home secretary, she never formerly met with the Cross-Government Anti-Mulsim Hatred Working group. The inattention to this important issue from the Conservative government resulted in leading academics resigning from the group.
Former Conservative minister Sayeeda Warsi has been disappointed in the limited support the Conservative party has given her in fighting Islamaphobia. Hasan believes she is being polite and measured in her condemnation, as she has been almost entirely ignored.
As Prime Minister, she hired a political strategist who told the conservatives to ignore “[explitive] Muslims” and supported the allegedly Islamaphobic campaigns, such as that of Zac Goldsmith.
She is also accused of purposefully limiting the presence of both Muslims and Muslim-related issues in the party. As such, the author is sceptical that she will fight Islamaphobia effectively.