On a Stand Up To Racism protest in December (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Anti-racists have called emergency protests outside the Conservative Party Head Office in London and in the centre of Glasgow on Thursday against the Tories’ ramped-up Islamophobia.

The demos called by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and supported by others follow an avalanche of Islamophobia from the Tories.

That racist assault flows from an attempt to demonise Palestine protesters, cover up official support for the genocide carried out by Israel and to continue the Tories’ scapegoating policy that they think will win votes. 

Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsey Hoyle claimed his recent decision to block a vote on a ceasefire in Gaza was due to concern for the safety and security of MPs.

“Hoyle said he didn’t want MPs to be murdered by terrorists or another attack on the House. This sparked controversy by linking calls for a Gaza ceasefire with terrorism,” said SUTR.

The Tories were forced to remove the party whip from their MP Lee Anderson after he refused to apologise for saying that “Islamists” have “got control” of London mayor Sadiq Khan. But they have not taken action against others such as Robert Jenrick, Liz Truss and Suella Braverman who have also made Islamophobic comments.

Robert Jenrick, a former cabinet minister, said that Britain has “allowed our streets to be dominated by Islamist extremists”. He spoke of “a pattern of Islamist extremists intimidating those they disagree with, backed by the prospect of violence”.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman wrote that “the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge now”.

Former prime minister Liz Truss shared a platform at a far right conference in the United States with Steve Bannon, a former adviser under the Donald Trump Presidency. She claimed “a radical Islamic party” could win the Rochdale by-election and she failed to challenge Bannon describing fascist Tommy Robinson as a “hero”.

Sabby Dhalu, SUTR co-convenor, said, “Braverman and Truss’s recent inflammatory comments can only lead to more fascist violence, racist and Islamophobic attacks on the streets of Britain.

“Yet we’ve heard not a peep from the prime minister on Braverman and Truss. We call on Rishi Sunak to withdraw the whip.” 

The Muslim Council of Britain has reported a surge in Islamophobic attacks. There’s been a shocking 335 percent increase and over 2,000 recorded cases in the last four months.

We need a wave of protest against Islamophobia and in solidarity with Palestine.

In another sign of the deadly effects of state racism, at least one person has died and two people are missing after a small boat disaster in the Channel. The French navy said it carried out four rescue operations on Wednesday to help 180 people.

One person was unable to be resuscitated and two more haven’t been found in the water, and are feared dead off the coast of Cap Gris-Nez in northern France.

Around 50 refugees were aboard the makeshift boat. It follows five refugees drowning on 14 January in the Channel when a boat with 70 people also got into difficulty.

The lack of safe, legal and open routes into Britain forces refugees to risk their lives making the dangerous crossing through the Channel.

Rishi Sunak, home secretary James Cleverly, the Tory Party and all in favour of harsher border and deportation laws—including Keir Starmer’s Labour Party—have blood on their hands.

Emergency protests to stand up to Islamophobia on Thursday 29 February London: 6pm, Conservative Party Head Office, 4 Matthew Parker Street, London SW1H 9HQ Glasgow: 5.30-6.30pm Buchanan Steps
Join SUTR’s national protests to Stop the Hate on 16 March in London and Glasgow, and 17 March in Cardiff. More details here

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