MICHAEL Gove has been accused of whipping up “Islamophobic hysteria” following the UK Government’s treatment of Muslims in recent weeks.

SNP MP Owen Thompson, the party’s chief whip, met last week with Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) who told him of a “hostile and scaremongering” attitude towards her and the organisation whipped up by the UK Government’s “lurch to the right” and Gove’s “sickening dog whistle politics”.

Gove is facing threats of legal action after naming Muslim organisations earlier this month that could fall foul of a new definition of extremism and that Whitehall should avoid engaging with.

The MCB has consulted lawyers in anticipation of seeking a judicial review if banned from Whitehall and Westminster.

Thompson said after meeting with Mohammed he was “horrified” by her concerns about a rising tide of Islamophobia.

READ  MORE: Ally McCoist: 'I will breach Hate Crime Act at Rangers vs Celtic game'

He told The National: “Gove and the UK Government are fanning the flames of hate. They are looking everywhere for scapegoats and Muslim people are now the easiest targets.

“There is a frightening mainstreaming of the kind of politics that would not have looked out of place in a National Front pamphlet in the 1970s.

“It was a real privilege and an honour to meet with Zara but I was horrified to learn of her worries about a rising tide in Islamophobia whipped up by the UK Government’s lurch to the right.

“There is a sickening demonisation of Islam going on which damages community relations and creates alarm among Muslims across Scotland and Britain.

“Zara is a great role model and works hard to represent and support honest hard working Scottish Muslims. It is chilling to see Islamophobic hysteria and a hostile and scaremongering attitude being targeted against her and her organisation.”

Earlier this year, Mohammed learned that the Ministry of Defence was ending its 12-year relationship with the MCB.

The organisation, the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella group, with more than 500 affiliated members including mosques, schools and charitable associations, had been acting as a referee for potential imam chaplains in the armed forces.

Previously Mohammed said: “It is barking. There is no replacement. They left a gap because we are the leading Muslim representative body that is trusted, so there is no one.”

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf speaks out on racist graffiti near family home

A preliminary ministerial statement indicates Gove was considering mentioning the Muslim Association of Britain, Cage International, Muslim Engagement and Development, 5 Pillars, and the Friends of al-Aqsa alongside far-right groups such as Britain First, British National Socialist Movement and Patriotic Alternative, as falling foul of the new extremism definition, according to reports.

Thompson said Mohammed had been “constantly asked” to prove she is not an extremist since the Hamas attacks of October 7 on Israel.

He added: “There seems to be an ongoing trend of vilifying Muslims. It's a systemic issue where they are often made the easy target in cultural conflicts.

“Engaging with the MCB should be encouraged since they represent numerous Muslim communities. By isolating and marginalizing Muslims, the UK Government are hindering their potential contribution.

“Since the atrocious 7 October attacks by Hamas in Israel, Zara Mohammed says she has been constantly asked to prove she is not an extremist.

“She does not represent Hamas, neither does her organisation. In Islam, the killing of innocent civilians is utterly condemned.

“We all need to work together to build a better Scotland, not allow ourselves to be divided by the sickening dog whistle politics of Gove and his ilk.”

The UK Government has been approached for comment.