'We don't want extremists in our midst no matter what religion' Conservative Muslims Deputy Chair hits out: 'Tory party is NOT racist'

'We don't want extremists in our midst no matter what religion' Conservative Muslims Deputy Chair hits out: 'Tory party is NOT racist'

WATCH NOW: Conservative Muslim Forum reacts to Lee Anderson's comments on Islamists

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 26/02/2024

- 19:19

Lee Anderson has defended his comments on Islamists "gaining control" of Sadiq Khan

Deputy Chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum Naveed Asghar has commended Lee Anderson's admission that his comments were "clumsy", as the former Tory Deputy Chair has become embroiled in a row with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Anderson and Khan have traded blows in recent days after claiming that Islamists have "got control" of Khan, and that the Mayor has "given our capital city away to his mates".

Chief Whip Simon Hart's spokesperson announced Anderson's suspension, confirming: "Following his refusal to apologise for comments made yesterday, the Chief Whip has suspended the Conservative whip from Lee Anderson MP."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denied that the Conservatives have "Islamophobic tendencies" and condemned Anderson's remarks, calling them "wrong, ill-judged, and unacceptable".

Naveed Asghar and Lee Anderson

Naveed Asghar said the majority of Muslims are 'hardworking people'

GB News / PA

Speaking to GB News today, Khan hit out at Anderson's decision to double down and stick by his comments, claiming that the party are "pouring petrol on the flames of Islamophobia."

In response to Anderson's admission that the comments were "clumsy", the London Mayer fumed: "Racism is racism, whether the victim is Jewish or Muslim."

Reacting to the ongoing row, Deputy Chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum Naveed Asghar said the decision by Sunak to suspend the whip was "correct", and that "the vast majority of British Muslims are hard working people".

He agreed that Anderson's comments were "clumsy", and praised the Tory MP for admitting so.

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan said the Conservatives are 'pouring petrol on the flames of Islamophobia'

GB News

Asghar told Martin Daubney: "There's four million Muslims in this country and the majority of them are hard working. When it comes to extremists, absolutely they should be called out and have security services deal with them. Not a single person that I know in my circle and my lifetime has ever said that they are happy with extremists.

"They cause untold terror and they called untold grief. No matter where it is in the country or where it is internationally, there's no place for extremists, no matter where they come from."

Asghar said of Lee Anderson: "I hope he had been more clearer when he made those comments. I'm sure when he made those comments, he didn't think that it would gain as much traction as they did.

"I'm glad the Prime Minister's come out this morning and said the words were unacceptable."

When asked by host Martin Daubney if he would welcome Anderson back into the party, Asghar said: "Lee Anderson has been suspended and already today he's been clearer with what he was saying and he's not been expelled from the party. I'm sure Lee's a very good member of Parliament and he does fantastic work for his constituency.

"So absolutely, there's always got to be a door left open. I would love to have Lee stay in the party and work with ourselves and work with other British Muslims, his peers, his fellow colleagues in Parliament, to understand maybe the wording was not correct, what he used, and I'm sure he understands that now."

Naveed Asghar

Asghar claimed that British Muslims 'do not want extremists in our midst, no matter which culture'

GB News

Asghar was then pressed on the Muslim communities speaking out against extremist behaviour, and asked him why aren't "more Muslims speaking out against the extremists" in this country.

Asghar responded: "There isn't a platform for most Muslims or British Muslims to speak out against these things. I think you're absolutely right. There needs to be more of a narrative for more people to come out.

"I'm sure the security services have the capability and they've got the people and the technologies to pick these people up. We do not want extremists in our midst, no matter which culture, which ideology they represent.

"My own family arrived here in the 1950s up in Scotland, and they've made a fantastic life for themselves here contributing to society. And that's what the majority of Muslims want. The Conservative Party is not a racist party.

"Individuals within it might harbour some thoughts and some things that might be from the information they've received, something that might have happened to them personally. But on the whole, the Conservative Party is a fantastic home for British Muslims."

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