Review into UK minority COVID-19 deaths sparks controversy

Review into UK minority COVID-19 deaths sparks controversy

Review into UK minority COVID-19 deaths sparks controversy

British Muslims condemned appointment of public figure, accused of Islamophobia, to inquiry into high minority death rates. Appointment of Trevor Phillips — who is considered highly controversial in the British Muslim community — to take part in a government inquiry into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on black and minority ethnic communities in the UK has provoked criticism.

Phillips is the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the UK’s rights watchdog. He has a history of controversial remarks regarding Muslims. He was appointed by Public Health England on April 24 to provide expert support in their investigation into why COVID-19 is disproportionally affecting people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

The BAME community makes up just 10.8% of the population, but 34.5% of critically ill coronavirus patients, according to local media. Sky News found that BAME Brits make up 72% of all NHS and carer deaths from COVID-19. The Guardian reported that black Brits make up 3.4% of the population, but 6.4% of COVID-19 deaths.

Phillips was suspended from the Labour Party earlier this year as the party launched an investigation into his alleged Islamophobia.

A Labour Party spokeswoman said at the time: “The Labour Party takes all complaints about Islamophobia extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.” Phillips has previously said being anti-Islam cannot be considered racist because Muslims do not constitute a race. He also argued in a 2016 pamphlet that Muslims were becoming a nation within a nation and that an inability to speak about Muslims freely led to crimes going unreported for fear of being called racist, such as the country’s previous scandal over child-sex grooming gangs. His views have been echoed by far-right leaders such as Tommy Robinson.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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