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The UK’s next Prime Minister “could be decided by Muslim voters”

The Muslim advocacy organisation MEND released the findings of a survey yesterday concluding that up to 50 seats across the country could be heavily influenced by Muslim voters. Many have cited that 50 seats in a ‘hung parliament’ could prove critical.

Muslim voters could affect the outcome in next month’s general election in more than 30 marginal constituencies. These include Kensington in London, where the Labour candidate, Emma Dent Coad, is defending a majority of 20. Other constituencies include Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, and Pendle in Lancashire, among others.

Previous MPs that have held marginal seats have a track record of engaging in or endorsing Islamophobic sentiments or conduct. These include:

  • Zac Goldsmith (PPC for Richmond Park, majority of 45) was accused of running an Islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan in the 2016 London mayoral race.
  • Bob Blackman (PPC for Harrow East, majority of 1757) was accused of endorsing Islamophobia after posting an anti-Muslim article on his Facebook page in 2018.
  • Henry Smith (PPC for Crawley, majority of 2457) faced criticism after suggesting that there was no Islamophobia in the Conservative Party due to Sajid Javid being a Muslim.

Fourteen of the 31 seats are held by Labour, 14 by the Conservatives, and three by the SNP.

The MCB, is the main representative body for Muslims in the UK and is non-partisan. Harun Khan, the secretary general of MCB, said:

“As active participants in our society, Muslims – in all their diversity – can play a significant role in what may become a close election, and we hope that the parties listen and reach out to Muslim communities across the country to engage on issues of concern.”

The MCB said it was focusing on increasing Muslim voter participation and encouraging communities to engage with the election debate.

Part of this engagement is to organise the first national Muslim voter registration day this Friday for mosques and Muslim community organisations.

National Voter Registration Drive – 22 November

1 in 3 18-34 year olds have not registered to vote yet.

You can change that.

If you have not voted before or have changed your address you need to register by 26 November.

Commonwealth citizens from Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh can vote too even if they don’t have a British citizenship as long as they have residency permit

Register here:

Zara Mohammed, the MCB’s assistant secretary general, said:

“It’s important that we all – young and old – realise our potential to make change through political participation. Our votes matter. Be it the mosque, community organisation, student society or women’s group, each of us can make a difference. This is as true in Ealing as in Edinburgh – we all have a responsibility to encourage as many people to register to vote.”

Mohammed Kozbar, the chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque, which was attacked in the now infamous incident by a far-right terrorist in 2017, said:

“At my mosque we know the price we all pay when certain communities are excluded from politics. It is high time Muslims make their voices heard – especially as many Muslim communities are in seats where they can be the difference between one candidate or another ending up in parliament.”

The ‘Muslim manifesto’ produced by MEND has a series of ‘Policy Pledges’ relating to issues such as tackling Islamophobic bullying in schools, ending Islamophobic discrimination in the workplace, and reducing hate crime on our streets.

Read MEND’s 2019 Muslim manifesto here.

MEND has approached each of the main political parties and asked them which of the Policy Pledges they will sign up to.  It is expected that the party supporting the greatest number of pledges will harness the greatest share of the crucial Muslim vote, especially in swing seats. [1]

Dr Shazad Amin, the CEO of MEND, commented:

“No one can dictate how individuals will vote but it’s clear that many Muslims have strong views on issues such as the growth and normalisation of Islamophobia in the UK. To influence Government policies to tackle this, it is vital that Muslims are engaged in the political process and vote for parties and candidates that support our policy pledges. Our ‘Get Out And Vote’ website helps Muslim voters do this in an informed and intelligent way.”

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/18/muslim-voters-swing-marginal-seats-research

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5 comments

  1. Politics is a pantomime of ventriloquists set up by bankers and big corporations. When politicians feature as drum beaters for the cause of war in the name of patriotism and whatever else, bankers gobble the huge financial windfalls. At best, politicians are liars, at worst they are hypocrites. Lose-lose situation.

  2. What about our internal, national politics and the concept of ‘the lesser of two evils’ as a reason to vote in the upcoming elections? Dr. Haitham Al-Haddad listed some of the reasons that Muslim leaders give to encourage political participation: reasons such as ‘Islamophobia, institutional discrimination, widespread ignorance and xenophobia, Islamic education [and] halāl facilities’. I honestly feel that the we are failing to learn from the multitude of lessons that, through Allah’s mercy, are to be found in our Islamic history. The establishment of the first Islamic society in Madinah was fraught with difficulties, suffering, confusion and mistakes. Allah Ta’ala could have had His deen established in any way but Sumayah (ra) had to be martyred, many of the early Muslims had to starve during the 3 year boycott, Khalid ibn Walid (ra) made an extremely costly mistake that lead to innocent blood being shed (but Allah’s Messenger disassociated himself from Khalid’s actions but not from the magnificent Sword of Allah himself) and some of the Sahaba (who Allah chose to be the companions of His final Messenger) ended up fighting each other at the time of Ali (ra) (but when a Roman general/leader saw that as a way to take advantage of the situation, they threatened to unite against him). Real life was messy then and it’s just as messy now. The difference is that they had Allah’s Messenger and the knowledge that he left with them to help them through their troubles and we have their examples.

    My question then is that if there was any time that our beloved Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) could have used the concept of the lesser of two evils to participate in the political system of the Quraysh, then would it not have been to prevent the evil of Sumaya (ra) having Abu Jahl push a spear into her private parts? In fact, there was NO incident that was evil enough to warrant the Muslims sharing in Quraysh’s leadership even though the Quraysh were offering far more than what we can ever hope for in the West: not the 3 year boycott in which even the Mother of the Believers Khadijah (ra) died, not the humiliating beating of Abu Bakr (ra) at the hands of Abu Jahal in which his face was repeatedly hit with slippers, not Bilal’s torture at the hands of his master and not even the the stoning and ridiculing of our beloved Messenger at the hands of the people of Ta’if. Compared to what the early Muslims endured without participating in the ruling system that could have alleviated their suffering considerably, don’t our troubles here in the West pale into insignificance?

    • Additionally, the sahaba did complain about their torture to our prophet Muhamamd (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and we find his response in the following hadith.

      Khabbab bin Al-Aratt (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
      We complained to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) regarding the persecution inflicted upon us by the disbelievers while he was lying in the shade of the Ka’bah, having made a pillow of his cloak. We submitted: “Why do you not supplicate for our prevalence (over the opponents)?”. He (ﷺ) replied, “Among those people before you, a man would be seized and held in a pit dug for him in the ground and he would be sawed into two halves from his head, and his flesh torn away from his bones with an iron comb; but, in spite of this, he would not wean away from his Faith. By Allah, Allah will bring this matter to its consummation until a rider will travel from San’a’ to Hadramout fearing none except Allah, and except the wolf for his sheep, but you are in too much of a hurry” [Al-Bukhari].

      Another narration is: He (ﷺ) had placed his cloak under his head and we had been tortured by the polytheists.

      The other solution was for those who could migrate to another land that was less evil and where there was less danger to the Muslims, to do so.

  3. Why on earth would you want to vote for someone who openly supports tyrants in the Middle East and Serbian generals responsible for the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia?!

    Johnson and Corbyn are the same in their stance for Islam. You’re only accepted if you fit with their liberal, jahil model of a Muslim.

    Better not to vote and save yourself from being responsible for the deaths of Muslims worldwide.

    • “Better not to vote and save yourself from being responsible for the deaths of Muslims worldwide.”

      That’s a good point. We know from the way that politics in the West works that when it comes to foreign policy, however well meaning a particular leader may be, major decisions are out of their hands. It doesn’t even matter what political party they represent, the consequences of major foreign policy decisions are far too important to be left in the hands of whichever political party comes into power.

      Even though as Muslims we may look back at Obama’s presidency with nostalgia, seeing Bush-the invader of Iraq and Afghanistan-as the real enemy, it was Obama who dropped more bombs over Muslim lands, not Bush. Also, despite many Muslims traditionally resting their hopes on Labour, it was also a Labour government under Tony Blair that joined forces with the USA to invade Iraq.

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