A Tory think tank endorsed by some of the party’s most senior figures is promoting Islamophobic material on its website and put a conspiracy theory about Muslims into print.
The Bruges Group think tank was founded in 1989 to promote the idea of Margaret Thatcher, who also served as the group’s president. Leading pro-Brexit Tory MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Owen Paterson and John Redwood have spoken at Bruges Group events this year.
Last year the Bruges Group published a report by its director Robert Oulds and far-right academic Dr Niall McCrae called Moralitis: A Cultural Virus. The report refers to the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory popular with the alt-right, and suggests that politicians have encouraged the growth of the Muslim population as “a deliberate policy to replace one set of voters with another.”
In a video created to promote the report, the authors repeatedly refer to “cultural Marxism”, a right-wing conspiracy theory with antisemitic origins.
The think tank has also promoted articles by Dr McCrae praising anti-Islam figures from the alt-right and even blaming Muslims for the rising price of a pint. Elsewhere, McCrae has used the alt-right Politicalite blog defunded by The Red Roar to allege that “the EU, supported by financier George Soros, wants to invite more hordes from the Middle East”.
It builds on a long history of Islamophobia allegations against founders of the Bruges Group. Its current president Norman Tebbit said in 2005 that “a multicultural society is an impossibility” and that Islam “is so unreformed since it was created that nowhere in the Muslim world has there been any real advance in science or art or literature or technology in the last 500 years.”
The Bruges Group had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publication.