British Tory frontrunner Boris Johnson has been likened to Adolf Hitler by the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, who vowed to quit the party if the former London mayor and foreign secretary becomes the next head of the government.
“There are many horrible people who have been popular”, Mohammed Amin, who has been a member of the Tories for 36 years, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, adding that while popularity is not the test, it is whether “this person is sufficiently moral to be prime minister”.
“I believe he fails the test”, Amin stated resolutely, going on to detail that he would not remain a Tory member if Johnson took the helm after outgoing Theresa May.
When told that his comparison of Johnson to Hitler was nothing short of “shocking”, Amin responded by saying that he didn’t mean the politician would send people “to the gas chamber”, but that Johnson is “a buffoon”.
“He, as far as I am concerned, has insufficient concern about the nature of truth for me to ever be a member of a party that he leads”, the MP told the audience.
He later told Sky News that he believed other Muslim members of the Conservative Party would follow suit and quit the camp, while asserting that he was doing nothing to talk them into the move:
“I have not been talking to them, I am not trying to organise a mass resignation”, Amin said.
The Nazi comment caused quite an unexpected reaction on Twitter, with one user, albeit not a big fan of the former mayor, claiming that the parallel “devalues the use of the term Nazi”:
Regardless, whether #BorisJohnsonShouldNotBePM or he should, these are careless & inflammatory comments from someone who should know better... comparing #BorisJohnson to a Totalitarian dictator responsible for millions of deaths devalues the use of the term Nazi @JonathanPieNews https://t.co/xHVpje82Ls— James Charles Ash (@JimboCharlieAsh) 14 июня 2019 г.
The comparison was generally viewed online as very over the top. One netizen lashed out at Amin, calling his logic “twisted”:
What a repellant individual you are for trying to infer a connection between Boris Johnson and Nazi germany, shameful!!!!— LondonJacks Leather (@LondonJacks) 14 июня 2019 г.
Hitler could have crossed the world as a REFUGEE along with his Nazi hordes based on that twisted refugee logic!?— anthony leslie mille (@LeslieMille) 29 марта 2017 г.
Johnson, who is currently a frontrunner in the voting for a new PM, caused backlash last year after he wrote in a column for The Telegraph that Muslim women in a burka looked like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”. When grilled on the subject on Wednesday, Johnson defended his comments, complaining about his words being frequently ripped out of context:
“Of course occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I may have used or indeed as a result of the way that phrase has been wrenched out of context and interpreted by those who wish for reasons of their own to caricature my views”.
Last December, Johnson was fully cleared of breaking the Conservatives’ code of conduct over the burka controversy after a panel of experts ruled that he had actually shown “respect” and “tolerance” in his column.