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Poll: Half of UK Conservative party members believe Islam 'incompatible with British way of life'

A new poll suggests that 40 percent of Tories want to reduce the number of Muslims entering Britain
Boris Johnson launched an investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party
Boris Johnson launched an investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party earlier this year following social media posts from activists and elected officials (AFP)

A new poll suggests that nearly half of all members of the ruling Conservative Party in the United Kingdom believe Islam is incompatible with British life.

The poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Hope Not Hate, surveyed 1,213 members of the Conservative party and showed 57 percents of respondents held negative attitudes towards Muslims, with another 47 percent believing Islam was "a threat to the British way of life". 

Meanwhile, 4o percent of respondents believed the UK should restrict the number of overseas Muslims allowed to enter the country. Another 45 percent agreed with the statement "there are no-go areas in Britain where Sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter".

It also found 48 percent of respondents nonetheless believed that there was little or no discrimination against Muslims in Britain. 

Hope Not Hate noted the attitudes of Tory party members were "far worse" than the general British public's attitudes to Islam, with 30 percent of respondents in a previous poll of the general population agreeing that Islam was a "threat to the British way of life". 

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Earlier this year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched an investigation into Islamophobia in his party. 

Johnson himself was accused of Islamophobia after likening women who wear niqabs to letterboxes. Monitoring group Tell Mama reported that Islamophobic incidents rose by 375 percent in the week after Johnson made his comments in a newspaper column. 

Hope Not Hate compiled its findings as part of a submission to the internal Conservative Party investigation into Islamophobia.

The submission included forty case studies of members and elected officials posting Islamophobic content on social media.

Hope Not Hate noted "Muslim [Conservative] members reported a lack of action when they complained" about Islamophobic acts within the party. 

One case studied was that of a party activist suspended for making an Islamophobic joke about the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand. The activist was later allowed back into the party after completing an online diversity course.  

No action was reportedly taken against another activist who described Islam as a "nasty culture".

In response to the poll, a Conservative Party spokesperson told the Times newspaper on Wednesday: "We take any complaint very seriously. There is currently an independent investigation into our complaints processes. We will consider any recommendations to further strengthen our procedures."

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