Boris Johnson’s Facebook page 'littered with hundreds of racists posts' from supporters
Hundreds of racist and Islamophobic comments have been left on Boris Johnson's Facebook page in the wake of his comments about the burqa.
A Sunday Times investigation into online abuse found hundreds of racist and Islamophobic posts have been made in the comment sections of Mr Johnson’s Facebook feed.
Under posts made by the former foreign secretary and his staff, supporters called for Muslims to be banned from joining the police or army, and blocked from holding any position in Government.
Another user wrote that it was “crazy to trust them. They are just waiting for the Jihad signal to turn on us #islamophobicandproud”.
A further post called on the former foreign secretary to deport Muslims, saying: “Come on Boris, you had the bottle to start getting rid of these bloody muslims, just like Enoch [Powell] wanted to rid us of all yer bloody c**ns!”
The Prime Minister urged Mr Johnson to apologise after he described women who wear the burqa as looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.
A senior government minister told the paper that the former foreign secretary’s remarks had given the go-ahead for people to express Islamophobic views.
“It’s always the risk when you start to mock Islam”, they said.
While the posts have yet to be deleted from his page, a source close to Mr Johnson said that he “totally condemns the hateful views posted by a small minority on these Facebook pages, brought to light by the Sunday Times”.
The paper found that 10 private Facebook pages run unofficially by supporters of Mr Johnson and powerful backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg were also filled with thousands of Islamophobic posts including descriptions of Muslims as “devil worshippers”, “sand rats” and “lepers”.
One user posted a picture of a large Muslim funeral under which someone commented: “I see that and I think Napalm.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is not linked to any of the unofficial groups, said that he was supporting new legislation that seeks to make social media companies responsible for the content they host, but added: “Boris Johnson’s comments do not validate these types of responses.
“What he said was perfectly within the bounds of debate, and people who have these types of views should take no solace in using his comments as an excuse to take this approach.”
The revelations come amid calls from the Muslim Council of Britain to have the police investigate the comments and for the Conservative party to launch a “full and transparent” investigation into Islamophobia in the party.
A spokesperson for the group hit out at Mr Johnson, saying that his comments about the burqa had “clearly inflamed tensions” and added that they “shone light on a simmering underbelly of ugly Islamophobia within the Conservative party”.
A Conservative party spokesperson said: “These Facebook groups are not affiliated to the Conservative Party, and the party has nothing to do with the content posted on them. We have consistently condemned online abuse and introduced measures to help clamp down on it.”