British political science professor Muhammad Kajri-Belir said that the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is guilty of using exclusionary rhetoric against Muslims and that “more discrimination” awaits Muslims under his rule.
Soila Braverman, Sunak’s handpicked interior minister, came under fire late last month for calling the country’s asylum seekers, often dark-skinned and from Muslim countries, an “invasion”. However, he remains in office despite the overtly xenophobic comments.
The academic at the Faculty of Politics and International Studies from the University of Leeds told Anadolu Agency.
“He was criticized for ignoring Muslim MPs’ demands to take a clear stand against Islamophobia,” he added.
Blair stressed that Braverman and Snack’s statements show the direction of the government’s immigration policies.
A 2019 study found that Islamophobia is rife within the ruling Conservative Party, and that Boris Johnson, who stepped down as prime minister in July, was known for making anti-Muslim comments.
“This will not change much during Sunak’s term,” Bilir added, warning that we are, in fact, “entering a period when more discrimination against Muslims is expected.”
“In the Sunak government’s approach to immigration, asylum seekers are categorized and a distinction is made whether they have already fled human rights abuses or come only for economic reasons,” he explained.
He said that “the legality of asylum claims by those arriving by boat, especially via France, is in question.”
The political expert said asylum seekers in Britain would be subject to strict vetting under the Rwanda Plan, a controversial program announced by Johnson in April to send asylum seekers in Britain to the small African country pending a decision.
On 24 October, Sunak succeeded Liz Truss, the UK’s shortest-serving Prime Minister, having served just 44 days.
The new leader of Indian descent made history when he became the country’s first prime minister of Asian descent.
* Aisha Sandoval Alaguna contributed to this note.