Suella Braverman has been accused of “fanning the flames of hate” towards Muslims after her attacks on pro-Palestine rallies prompted a furious outcry over concerns she is fuelling “hatred and division”.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims, a cross-party committee of MPs, hit out at the home secretary’s rhetoric, which has seen her describe the demonstrations as “hate marches”, warning she is “inspiring far-right” to engage in Islamophobia.
Ms Braverman’s job is on the line after Downing Street made clear that it had not approved an extraordinary article in which she accused officers of playing favourites by tolerating the Armistice Day march while using stronger tactics against right-wing protests, with senior Tories urging Mr Sunak to sack her.
In a statement condemning Ms Braverman’s remarks, the APPG warned that her comments risked the safety of British Muslims.
They wrote: “We are deeply worried by the statement being made by the Home Secretary, especially during Islamophobia Awareness Month. Her divisive comments that fuel hatred are leaving British Muslim communities in the United Kingdom feeling unsafe.
“The home secretary’s main duty is to keep British citizens safe. When the home secretary herself is fanning the flames of hate, and inspiring the far-right, how can British Muslim communities expect to feel safe in Britain.”
It is unclear whether Mr Braverman has visited any mosques or mainstream Muslim organisations to offer support to Muslim communities, the APPG’s statement reads.
“Rather, her most recent comments would generalise ordinary British Muslims as being extremist and terrorist sympathisers,” it added.
Islamophobic incidents have increased by 600 per cent in the UK since Hamas’ attack Israel on October 7, according to new research from Tell MAMA, a charity which records anti-Muslim incidents.
They include verbal and physical abuse, as well as vandalism.
Writing in a column for The Times newspaper on Thursday, Ms Braverman said the police “play favourites” and apply a “double standard” to protests. She claimed right-wing individuals faced “a stern response”, while “pro-Palestinian mobs” were “largely ignored”.
She further complained that “lockdown objectors were given no quarter by public order police yet Black Lives Matters demonstrators were enabled, allowed to break rules”.
Ms Braverman previously said demonstrations on 11 November would be an “affront to the British public” and called on police to ban it, despite organisers pledging to stay away from Whitehall and the Cenotaph and holding the march after commemorations planned for 11am take place.
And she went a step further on Thursday when she said the Met Police’s decision to allow the march to go ahead showed they were biased.
Her remarks have sparked a furious row with the Tory party, with Tory minister for London Paul Scully saying: “We’ve got to make sure that we concentrate on dampening things down rather than fuelling that sort of hatred and that division.”
It is not the first time that Ms Braverman has come under fire for offensive comments about Muslim communities.
In April, a Muslim organisations across the country wrote to Rishi Sunak to express “deep concern” at what they branded “irresponsible and divisive rhetoric” regarding child sexual exploitation from the home secretary.
Ms Braverman has been no stranger to controversy in her time as a minister and her opponents have consistently accused her of employing “far-right” rhetoric and lacking “compassion” in her comments about asylum seekers, immigrants and multiculturalism.