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Thursday, February 15, 2024

British PM Boris Johnson apologizes for anti-Islam remarks in past

PM Boris Johnson expresses his apology as a report submitted to the Conservative Party looks into his past record of anti-Islamic comments.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologized for the anti-Islam remarks in past in a critical report to his Conservative Party which looked into the discrimination including Islamophobia.

The senior Conservative Party member had interviewed Boris Johnson in response to the criticism of how it handled complaints and discrimination. Professor Swaran Singh, who has served as the Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, had investigated for the report.

The report included several posts on the Islamophobic statements passed by him in the past that were a direct offense to the Muslim community. It also cited his infamous remarks of calling Muslim women in Burqa “going around looking like letter boxes” and likening them to bank robbers.

Read more: Britain’s new PM, Boris Johnson shares connection to Pakistan and Islam

While commenting on his past remarks, he acknowledged how his comments had caused inconvenience to the community.


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“I do know that offense has been taken at things I’ve said, that people expect a person in my position to get things right, but in journalism, you need to use language freely. I am sorry for any offense taken,” the report quoted Johnson as saying.

“Would I use some of the offending languages from my past writings today? Now that I am Prime Minister, I would not.”

Singh concluded that the party had been not active enough in challenging discrimination. He recommended that the complaints procedure needed to be overhauled and its sanctions systems for those who breached the rules were unclear.

“Judging by the extent of complaints and findings of misconduct by the Party itself that relates to anti-Muslim words and conduct, anti-Muslim sentiment remains a problem within the Party,” the report’s conclusions said.

The report warned it “should make for uncomfortable reading for the party”.

In a statement, Prof Singh said: “For those unable or unwilling to read all of its 44,000 words, here’s a summary: we found evidence of discrimination, and while the problem is not systemic the party must now act to root it out.”

Following the submission of the report, Conservative Party said it is considering the report’s recommendation.

Read more: Imran and Boris are same when it comes to women: Reham Khan

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the report but said “it does not address the structural nature of Islamophobia in the Party” or “how racism had impacted many elements of its culture”.

Labour Party shadow equality minister Marshe de Cordova said that the report was, “A damning indictment of the discrimination rife in the Conservative Party, and it goes all the way up to the prime minister.”