Baroness Warsi has repeatedly accused the Conservative party of institutional Islamophobia and called for an independent inquiry (Tory party suspends 14 members over allegedly Islamophobic remarks, 6 March).
Her concerns echo the evidence of a recent report by the anti-racist advocacy group Hope Not Hate. Surely the time is long overdue for the leadership to listen to her rather than insisting, as all political parties tend to do, that the main problem with racist abuse and discrimination always lies elsewhere.
It is important to support Baroness Warsi and others, but equally to demand that all mainstream political parties seriously begin a transparent process that is able to acknowledge and confront all forms of racism, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-black racism.
The lack of education and understanding about racism, in all our political parties, is particularly dangerous at a time when the far right is again growing in strength.
The horrific events in New Zealand are obviously a wake-up call to all of us. We hope that Baroness Warsi’s comments will open up a broader discussion that all parties will embrace, since ignoring any form of prejudice undermines the work to tackle all.
Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Columnist and author
Geoffrey Bindman QC
Radhika Bynon Director of programmes, The Young Foundation
Dr Edie Friedman Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Dr Omar Khan Director, Runnymede Trust
Professor Francesca Klug Human rights academic and activist
Clive Lewis MP
Rachel Shabi Journalist
Simon Woolley Director, Operation Black Vote
All members of the Black, Asian, Jewish Alliance (Baja)
• Nesrine Malik is quite right to warn of the dangers of anti-Muslim behaviour (Journal, 18 March) for this is a very real threat to all of us and not just the Muslim community. We shouldn’t forget that 10 years after the Wall Street crash, the second world war began. It is now just over 10 years since the global financial crisis struck. Nationalism and racism are similarly on the rise. They say that history doesn’t repeat itself, but that it rhymes. If that is so then perhaps anti-Muslim arguments will be made in the same way that antisemitic ones were used by the Nazis to gain power and trigger global warfare. We must all unite to resist anti-Muslim conduct wherever it occurs so as to avoid the mistakes of the past.
Abinger Hammer, Surrey
• In the thick of the morally degraded principles and beliefs underpinning “nativist” ideology with its theories of replacement (of whites by Muslims, Latinos and others) which dominate contemporary alt-right thinking is the uncomfortable fact, rarely mentioned, that the whites themselves achieved their dominant status (in Australasia, the Americas, Africa and beyond) by slaughtering (preferably) or replacing (pushing back, infecting with disease, herding in reserves or expulsion) the original “natives”, the indigenous population (How Australia has evolved into a haven for racists, 18 March). The moral inconsistency of this simple but crucial fact when set alongside the associated notions of white exclusiveness and exceptionalism just seems to be beyond their reasoning. But then, as we know only too well, racists always operate on the basis of false evidence.