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Should Muslims care about the EU referendum?

This week has seen the launch of several campaigns surrounding the looming European Union referendum. Although impassioned rhetoric surrounding a ‘Brexit’ (UK’s exit from the EU) has been flying around for months, this Tuesday marked exactly four months until the 23rd June 2016 referendum and witnessed a number of voices entering the discussion.

I have long wondered whether Muslims have a horse in the EU race, so to speak, and have asked many Muslims for their view over the years, with varying responses. Like any non-trivial decision in life it involves a consideration of conflicting masālih (benefits) and mafāsid (harms), for which Islām has given us the greatest system of ethics to use in navigating through.

Will a Brexit have any impact on Muslims?

Since Muslims are part and parcel of the landscape of the UK we can safely say that changes to the country’s relationship with the EU will be of at least some significance. However the questions are: In what ways and to what extent? It might also be useful to note that due to the fact that it is being allowed to go ahead, both sides of the argument therefore, almost by definition, enjoy support from within the narrow spectrum of elite interests. In other words, we should be realistic and not expect that the ability to overturn entrenched, oppressive—thus un-Islamic—power structures be left for the meagre public to decide in such a binary manner. But that does not mean we cannot increase ma’rūf or decrease munkar, as is clearly expected of us.

“And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.”[1]

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allāh. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.”[2]

Some methodological considerations

An unfortunate feature of today’s politics (and arguably modernity in general) is that nuance and subtlety is almost deliberately removed and people are forced to make binary decisions. Do not expect a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer at the end of this article. These remarks are in order to open up a conversation for us as a community over the coming weeks and months. It is an encouragement to look over the various factors—masālih and mafāsid—involved in this discussion and, more importantly, begin a process of shūrā (consultation, mutual advice).

We should recognise that Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has legislated some things explicitly. And for any other given situation in any time and place He has revealed the best methodology for chartering the best possible course . Invariably, those processes involving the effort of human beings are prone to human weakness, desires, personal interest and error in general and, as such, Allāh has legislated means to mitigate such risks for important decisions. Allāh instructs the best of creation, the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), concerning those under his authority:

“So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allāh. Indeed, Allāh loves those who rely [upon Him].”[3]

Shūrā is not only legislated as a pragmatic, material way of coming to a more informed decision, but it brings with it the metaphysical barakah (increase of good; blessing) from Allāh.

“Allāh’s Hand is with the jamāʿah (collective).”[4]

It is crucial to recognise that individual human beings’ perspectives are limited and coloured by a host of other factors, from personal political persuasions to our own interests. This is why I hear alarm bells and advise caution and scepticism when people give plain yes or no answers; black and white arguments to either ‘stay’ or ‘leave’ the EU. An example is the new “Muslims for Britain” campaign group,[5] pushed by the Telegraph,[6] with an apparent Conservative party leaning which presents the usual ambiguous arguments about sovereignty and a neoliberal, free market dogma.

“A leap in the dark”

The absence of cogent yet fair and nuanced arguments is probably one of the biggest problems of this entire discussion. Not enough information is available for the public to make a truly informed decision—much like all discussions in UK politics—almost as if by design. Paul Mason spells this out quite convincingly, calling it a “flimsy illusion of choice”.[7]

Politicians from as radically different backgrounds as George Galloway and Nigel Farage,[8] have found themselves on the same side of the debate yet none have been able to demonstrate any power to shape what happens next. Meanwhile other careerists have apparently just wandered into the discussion for the attention.[9]

If we are to understand the various arguments from a nuanced perspective it is useful to understand what the EU is—not just from the “official” perspective.

What is the EU for?

Looking into the history and purpose of the EU is quite an informative exercise in rudimentary propaganda systems from long before the internet, when things were much more straightforward. Those who campaigned for it used simple slogans like cooperation, free trade, and other such pleasant-sounding slogans. Pro-establishment sources describe it simply as an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries,[10] who—as the official story goes—after World War Two came together to foster cooperation and trade together so they would hopefully stop going to war with one another. Since then it has grown to become a single market of sorts, allowing goods and trade to move around “freely”. The BBC has a useful resource to get—at least the establishment view of—the history and functions of the EU.[11]

However, a more accurate—and arguably cynical—lay people’s account is probably found in Greece’s former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis’ account:[12]

“It began life as a cartel of heavy industry (coal and steel, then car manufacturers, later co-opting farmers, hi-tech industries and others). Like all cartels, the idea was to manipulate prices and to redistribute the resulting profits through a purpose-built, Brussels-based bureaucracy.

“This European cartel and the bureaucrats who administered it feared the demos and despised the idea of government by the people, just like the administrators of oil producers Opec, or indeed any corporation, does. Patiently and methodically, a process of depoliticising decision-making was put in place, the result a relentless drive towards taking the “demos” out of “democracy”, at least as far as the EU was concerned, and cloaking all policy-making in a pervasive pseudo-technocratic fatalism. National politicians were rewarded handsomely for their acquiescence to turning the commission, the CouncilEcofin (EU finance ministers), the Eurogroup (eurozone finance ministers) and the European Central Bank into politics-free, democracy-free, zones. Anyone opposing the process was labelled “un-European” and treated as a jarring dissonance.”

Arguments

As can be expected, these varying perspectives (and agendas) give rise to different arguments being put forward both for and against a Brexit. Over the coming weeks and months leading up to the EU referendum we hope to explore these arguments in more detail, but it may be useful to briefly overview some of them here.

It is interesting to note that those who criticise the EU are not necessarily the same ones campaigning for leaving it; wishing to stay in it does not mean you like it. This is because of the maxim of fiqh: al-umūr bi ma’ālātihā (matters are judged considering their consequences). This is exemplified in the new and impressive pan-European movement, DiEM25, that Yanis Varoufakis, Natalie Bennette, Julian Assange and others have started to campaign for the long process of reforming the EU from within.[13]

If anyone were to have the right to complain of Brussels undermining people’s sovereignty it would be Varoufakis, whose country was brought to near destruction by this system created by the financial elite, sending the suicide,[14] and infant mortality rates,[15] through the roof as a result of irrational and unjust neoliberal austerity policies.[16][17] The reason he is not campaigning for a Greek exit is because matters are judged considering their consequences. What is the alternative?

Those arguing for an exit also complain about the restrictions on sovereignty and democracy that the EU is known to bring with it. However, as Muslims have experienced first-hand, and wider society is beginning to realise, if the UK were to leave the EU it would not be free to determine its own affairs because it is currently sandwiched between the EU and the US planners in Washington. For years our own sovereignty and the loyalties of many policy makers, including the Prime Minister, have been slowly engulfed by US neoconservatism.[18] If we break free from Europe it may cause us to drift off further into the Atlantic. It would also leave us potentially more vulnerable to other lobbies such as for Israeli interests, which the EU—for all its faults—has shown at least some backbone against,[19] for whatever reasons.

Linked to the neoconservative threat to our sovereignty is perhaps the most troubling prospect for Muslims of Britain leaving the EU. This is that the EU has sometimes kept some of our own jingoistic elites on a leash when they go slightly too far in stifling Muslim activism and stirring up anti-Muslim bigotry. The European Convention of Human Rights, for example, has faced an extraordinary amount of opposition from many who have pushed for more and more draconian policies and restrictions of civil liberties in the War o[f] Terror.

One of the famous scapegoats used to push for more power to the state was Abu Qatada, who remained incarcerated without trial in the UK for years as the European Court of Human Rights blocked his extradition to Jordan. Although he was eventually cleared and thus, was, for all intents and purposes, an innocent man behind bars,[20] against him was the most vicious collusion of members of the British political and media establishment painting him as a public enemy. They would have probably gotten away with shipping him off to Jordan to likely be tortured if Allāh had not saved him using the ECHR as one of many means.[21][22]

Conclusion

If we have clarified anything it is that this debate must not be of slogans and punch-lines but one of careful deliberation and mutual consultation. This is only an introduction to what is—if Allāh wills—a wider conversation to be had with many, which we hope to bring.

Such conversations should remind human beings of our weaknesses and neediness for, if such a binary Stay/Leave decision is so complex, then what of the entire journey of our lives? The wise among us long ago realised how utterly in need of Allāh we are to fix our affairs and guide us to the most enlightened decisions, as the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) taught us to say:

يَا حَيُّ يَا قَـيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ ، وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ

“O Ever Living, O Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, by Your mercy I seek assistance, rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me to myself, even for the blink of an eye.”[23]

What is your view?
Do you believe we do or do not know enough for an informed decision?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 3:104

[2] Al-Qur’ān, 3:110

[3] Redacted from Al-Qur’ān, 3:159

[4] Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhi 2166

[5] https://muslimsforbritainorg.wordpress.com/

[6] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12150386/Why-British-Muslims-should-vote-to-leave-the-EU.html

[7] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/22/brexit-eu-referendum-paul-mason

[8] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/12166080/George-Galloways-appearance-at-Brexit-campaign-rally-sparks-furore.html

[9] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/22/david-camerons-swipe-at-boris-johnson-in-the-commons-verdict

http://www.lbc.co.uk/no-holds-barred-obrien-on-boris-and-brexit-125479

[10] http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm

[11] http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zgjwtyc

[12] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/05/eu-no-longer-serves-people-europe-diem25

[13] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/yanis-varoufakis-launches-pan-european-leftwing-movement-diem25

[14] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846904

[15] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tough-austerity-measures-in-greece-leave-nearly-a-million-people-with-no-access-to-healthcare-9142274.html

[16] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/07/greece-financial-elite-democracy-liassez-faire-neoliberalism

[17] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/14/left-reject-eu-greece-eurosceptic

[18] https://coolnessofhind.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/dual-loyalties-and-the-threat-to-britain-part-ii-examining-david-camerons-loyalties/

[19] https://www.cer.org.uk/insights/eu-israel-relations-confrontation-or-co-operation

[20] http://www.cageuk.org/article/abu-qatada-unsurprising-verdict

[21] It should be noted that the relationship between the EU and ECHR is not a simple one. Cf. https://www.islam21c.com/politics/jordan-delivers-justice-after-britain-fails/

[22] http://www.cageuk.org/article/bethlehem-belmarsh-abu-qatada%E2%80%99s-ordeal-britain-0

[23] Mustadrak al-Hākim 2000

About Dr Salman Butt

Salman studied Biochemistry at Imperial College London followed by a PhD in Chemical Biology, carrying out research into photosynthesis. During his years at university he became involved in Islamic society da'wah and activism, and general Muslim community projects. He is the Chief Editor and a regular contributor at Islam21c, and also has a blog on the Huffington Post.

13 comments

  1. Some well written articles that highlight the dangers that the EU poses for Muslims living in Britain:

    To Remain or Leave: The EU of Islamophobia
    https://shariahaffairs.com/2016/06/14/to-remain-or-leave-the-eu-of-islamophobia/

    A Muslim case for Brexit
    http://www.amuslimcaseforbrexit.org.uk

    The next EU president wants Muslims to be banned. Why are Cameron, Merkel and Hollande silent?
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/which-way-should-british-muslims-vote-eu-referendum-152685040

    This hostility towards Islam originating in other EU countries – especially eastern Europe – and the fact that the EU can pass anti-Islamic legislation which overrides British law are factors that appear to be overlooked by Muslims who are campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU.

    Just look at what Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, has recent said about Islam. This man from a small and obscure country in eastern Europe is set to become the next President of the EU who will hold power and authority over Britain and British people. He is not from a party of right wing nutjobs but from a left of centre party that is the Slovakian equivalent of the British Labour Party with MEPs that sit in the same group in the European Parliament as MEPs from the British Labour Party.

  2. I’ve been sent this message and wondered what others make of it?

    Reasons why we Muslims must.

    Vote Leave On 23 June.

    1. British Born Muslims and those that arrived here from other countries total
    3 million over 50 years.
    East European immigration is over 3 million in the last 5 years.!! And is expected to reach 6m in the next 5years.!!
    How does this affect you??
    Well they are all followers of the Orthodox Christian Church. And they have always battled against Islam from the time of the Sahaba upto the Ottoman Khilafa.

    Staying in EU will give us:-

    a) More Off Licences

    b) More Betting Shops

    c) More expensive housing

    d) Less value to our vote

    e) overcrowded school classes

    f) more strain on the NHS

    g) an increase in the current £350million per week EU bill we pay.

    h) Forced to introduce future EU wide laws such as a ban on Hijab. And controls on Juma khutbah.

    UK is the best place for Muslims. And staying in Euro we will get into a lot of trouble in the future.

    Let’s help take Britain to a better path with our support as the Muslim community.

    Please VOTE LEAVE IT IS BETTER FOR UK AND FOR OUR future generations.

    • Just made up scaremongering

    • Eliza is on the ball with everything except for “they are all followers of the Orthodox Christian Church”. Eastern Europe is split between Catholic nations and Orthodox nations and has been a battleground for centuries of conflict between both sects. Regardless of whether eastern Europeans are Catholic, Orthodox, or atheist the majority of them are xenophobic and hostile towards Islam which they view as a common enemy of all three.

      The EU is already undermining social harmony in Britain. The ‘open-doors’ immigration policy enables large numbers of eastern Europeans to settle in Britain. This has resulted in creating tensions and animosity between settled Muslims and recent eastern European immigrants in several local communities. The cultures and lifestyles of these eastern Europeans is very different from the cultures and lifestyles of Muslims, plus they also fight each other over jobs and access to resources. I know Muslims who are voting to leave the EU because they are concerned that the tensions between Muslims and eastern Europeans are rising, and eastern Europeans could become very hostile or violent towards Muslims – including the sisters, the elders, and children – in the future.

      A Muslim who votes in favour of Britain remaining in the EU is walking into the lion’s den.

  3. Desperately Manufacturing Consent

    What we can learn from the European Referendum is the dire state that the capitalist neo-liberal agenda is in…..

    The EU Referendum Cameron pledged was for one reason alone which was Cameron’s desperatness in getting into power during the General Elections because of rising euroskpeticism in Britain and across Europe.

    What we are witnessing now is his desperatness to please his ideological neo-liberal capitalist masters… A neo-liberal agenda which has the following objectives…

    (1) Deregulation of the economy
    (2) Liberalisation of trade and industry
    (3) Privatisation of state owned enterprises
    (4) Tax Cuts for rich
    (5) Reduction of social services and welfare programmes
    (6) Downsizing of government
    (7) Tax havens for domestics and foreign co-operation
    (8) Removal of controls on global financial and trade flows
    (9) Regional and global integration of national economies
    (10) Creating institutions to further the neo-liberal paradigm

    His pitch for anti-immigration negotiations, border controls, terrorism and security is nothing but a red-herring. Do you seriously think that they care about this? Nay! Capitalists would work with and give “terrorists” a job if it generated money which they have! (Just look at their record for working with tyrants) Thats because Capitalism measures everything and everyone in accordance with an economic yardstick.

    That didn’t work due to splits in his own party so he brought in his American masters to bring a harsh message against leaving, then he brought out the Capitalists themselves including the neo-liberal institutions of the IMF, OECD, EU.

    Throughout the campaign, the stay in has dominated positively the media and the leave campaign has been delineated as regressive radicals that would create world war 3. All of this shows the desperateness for the Capitalists to protect their economic interests.

    Either way this debate is between the Capitalists of both sides, not for ordinary people who’s net benefit is peanuts in all of this and especially not for Muslims.

    As Muslims, we have our own vision for the world…

    A vision which goes beyond viewing humans in accordance with economic productivity but as inheritors of the earth who have been tasked with liberating humans from the shackles of humans to the subservience to Allah SWT.

    A vision which transcends nation states that inherently advantages some whilst deprives others, that fails to bond human beings and cultivates racism,

    A vision where sovereignty rests with Allah SWT and not in the shortsightedness and instinctive greed of man,

    A vision where authority is firmly entrenched in the Ummah and not in the hands of a few cooperate elite who decide the people’s political fate in accordance with their interests.

    Only the Ummah of Prophet PBUH with the guidance of Allah SWT can save mankind from the perpetual misery that they are in.

  4. Please have a look at the Better Off Out campaign

    http://www.betteroffout.net

  5. Paul Mason (radical left wing economist and journalist) argues that though he supports Brexit in principle due to its anti-democratic nature, he fears that post Brexit policies will be dictated by right wing MPs such as Michael Gove.

    I’m still undecided but I’m definitely sideing towards Remain now in fear of a neo-con takeover.

  6. Are you guys for real? Are you even the slightest it British or are you just Muslims first foremost only and forever. The vote us about Britain not small minded racists….like you guys.

  7. This referendum does matter to Muslims because the EU is technically our top level of government. It can pass legislation on thousands of issues that affect common people, including Muslims, which overrides national legislation originating from Westminster. The EU could even outlaw halal slaughter in Britain!

    A Muslim in Britain who ignores the EU whilst focusing their attention on the British government in Westminster is like a Muslim in Miami who only focuses their attention on the State Government of Florida but ignores the US Federal Government.

    Unfortunately, I believe that a high proportion of Muslims will fall for shallow propaganda in the run up to the referendum– like anti-EU is the prerogative of the political right, racists, xenophobes, little Englanders, and narrow minded inwards looking people who are living in the past, whereas the political left, progressives, multiculturalists, anti-racists, and broad minded outwards looking types who claim to look to the future are pro-EU. Therefore a high proportion of Muslims will end up voting pro-EU on this flimsy basis. There’s also the effect of large numbers of Muslims being taken for a ride by Jeremy Corbyn who is uncompromisingly pro-EU or deterred from voting anti-EU by the antics of Nigel Farage who is a Zionist and critical of Islam.

    The reality is that one’s position on the EU is above and beyond left vs right, free market vs controlled economy, liberal vs conservative, progressive vs traditional, religious vs atheist. There are people from all of these factions who are pro-EU and people from all of these factions who are anti-EU. For different reasons, of course.

    Muslims need to seriously ask themselves exactly how THEY will benefit from Britain being a member of the EU before deciding which way to vote rather than being swayed purely by factors of interest to non-Muslims or the arguments they put forwards. Do many Muslims in Britain have any interest in living and working in other EU countries, if so, then which ones? If very few of them have any interest then it’s a facility of the EU that very few will ever use. Would they prefer that Britain has better political, economic, and cultural ties with Muslim majority countries or with countries in Europe where there are very few Muslims? There are several such countries including Portugal, Greece, Finland, Hungary, and Slovakia that very few Muslims in Britain have ever visited or have anything to do with. Are Muslims aware that eastern European countries are very hostile places towards Islam and Muslims? This hostility has the potential to be reflected in MEPs from eastern European countries which can pass legislation in the European Parliament detrimental to the interests of Muslims.

    The economic advantages of Britain remaining in the EU are also suspect. A high proportion of British trade is currently with EU countries but it must also be taken into account that economic growth in most EU countries is so low that they are effectively economically dead. In contrast, economic growth in many countries outside of the EU is higher, and exports from Britain to these countries are rising as living standards and therefore levels of disposable income of their citizens rise. There are trade surpluses in certain products with countries outside of the EU whereas Britain has for decades constantly run a trade deficit with the EU. The lack of economic growth in EU countries means that there is minimal potential to increase economic growth in Britain through trade with the EU but potential exists for economic growth by trading with countries outside of the EU. What this means is that the EU nowadays acts as a lead weight around the British economy and every year remaining in the EU means another year of recession for Britain. In other words, we joined the wrong club.

    Was Dr Salman Butt aware that the ECHR is run by the Council of Europe rather than the EU when he wrote the article, so it will continue to be in force even after Britain withdraws from the EU? The ECHR will be used as a propaganda piece by both the pro-EU and anti-EU campaigns in the run up to the referendum, but it’s very important for Muslims to realise who actually runs the ECHR and that it isn’t the EU.

    A final point is that, although I cannot prove this as fact, I have a strong feeling that a very high proportion of blacks and Asians (including most Muslims) voted against EEC membership in the 1975 EEC referendum. Back in 1975 the vast majority of black and Asian people of voting age were immigrants from New Commonwealth nations with very few who were born in Britain or were immigrants from other countries. Their perception of continental Europe was some mysterious lands that they had nothing to do with where the locals had strange cultures and talked in languages they couldn’t understand. Many of them had also learned in history lessons at school in their country of origin about the wars and conflicts between Britain and continental Europe over the centuries which must have affected their judgement.

  8. The EU is not a subject that has received any serious discussion and debate from within Muslim communities. I think it is safe to say that Muslims are something like 15 years behind the curve when it comes to the EU. They are in a similar position to the white English working class in places like Rotherham in the year 2000 when opposition to the EU, and consequently support for UKIP, predominantly existed amongst the middle classes inhabiting the suburbs and shires of the south of England and East Anglia. It was not that the white English working class back then was pro-EU, but it was because they weren’t clued up on the subject whereas a higher proportion of the middle classes (both pro and anti-EU) were.

    I was recently discussing the EU with some local Muslims who agreed with me that there was a total lack of knowledge about the EU in Muslim communities and it is no longer an issue that Muslims can afford to be ignorant about. They also stated that the EU has to be looked at by Muslims from the perspective of how it affects Muslims and the relationship between Britain and Muslim majority countries rather than from the perspectives of non-Muslims, or through blunt left wing vs right wing, progressive vs backwards, tolerant vs xenophobic perspectives.

    “However, as Muslims have experienced first-hand, and wider society is beginning to realise, if the UK were to leave the EU it would not be free to determine its own affairs because it is currently sandwiched between the EU and the US planners in Washington. For years our own sovereignty and the loyalties of many policy makers, including the Prime Minister, have been slowly engulfed by US neoconservatism. If we break free from Europe it may cause us to drift off further into the Atlantic. It would also leave us potentially more vulnerable to other lobbies such as for Israeli interests, which the EU—for all its faults—has shown at least some backbone against, for whatever reasons.”

    The choice of Britain in the EU or Britain as the 51st American state is a completely false dichotomy. Take into account that Britain has actually been the 51st American state since Churchill and Roosevelt formed the Special Relationship during WW2. The US was a driving force behind Britain joining the EU in 1973. Washington and Wall Street dictated that they would move the financial gateway to Europe from London to Frankfurt unless Britain joined the then Common Market. Britain outside of the EU would be free to form political and commercial alliances with any country in the world and not just the United States. Since 1973 the world has changed and there are many other countries that Britain could form friendly alliances with. I’m well aware that UKIP will convert Britain into the 51st American state but UKIP does not speak for the entire anti-EU movement. I am opposed to the EU but I am not a member of UKIP, and have always been critical of the party and many of its policies.

    The EU is slowly working towards a common foreign and defence policy. This means that if the EU decides to support Israel and oppose Palestine then ALL of its member states much agree to the policy even if their national governments disagree with it. If the EU wants to go to war in a foreign country then the armies of ANY of its member states will be called up to fight even if their national governments oppose the war.

    “Linked to the neoconservative threat to our sovereignty is perhaps the most troubling prospect for Muslims of Britain leaving the EU. This is that the EU has sometimes kept some of our own jingoistic elites on a leash when they go slightly too far in stifling Muslim activism and stirring up anti-Muslim bigotry.”

    But for how long? When the EU was just western European countries it was one thing but the admission of eastern European countries to the EU now means that it is a completely different thing. Most of these eastern European countries have very few Muslims living in them and are well known to be hostile towards Islam. They are also generally xenophobic countries which dislike foreigners, more so for foreigners from non-European backgrounds or non-Christian religions. Their MEPs and Commissioners are capable of tilting the EU towards hostility to Islam and Muslims. They can pass legislation in the European Parliament which is detrimental to the interests of Muslims and overrides British law.

    “The European Convention of Human Rights, for example, has faced an extraordinary amount of opposition from many who have pushed for more and more draconian policies and restrictions of civil liberties in the War o[f] Terror.”

    The European Convention of Human Rights is run by the Council of Europe which is a completely separate organisation to the EU. The Council of Europe includes all EU member states but also has countries as members which are not members of the EU including Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, and Russia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Court_of_Human_Rights
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Europe

    Withdrawal from the EU is NOT the same thing as withdrawal from the Council of Europe. Therefore even if Britain withdraws from the EU the ECHR will still be in force in Britain.

    Any opposition to the EU put forward on the basis of opposition to the ECHR is all smoke and mirrors but sadly much of the British public have fallen for it so have chosen to back Britain’s membership of the EU through lack of understanding.

  9. Abdullah Thomson

    It will be interesting to see what points the pro-exit side will utilise. I strongly suspect “security” and immigration control will be top of the list so can guess who will be getting seriously hammered by fear mongering in the media in the run-up to June.

    As the propaganda and passion surrounding the Scottish Independence Referendum pit people against one another who were on good terms before, so will the Euro-sceptic media care about inflaming the British public yet more against Muslims and Muslim immigration? Probably not in the slightest. Thick skin at the ready.

  10. Islam is more prefect than we think these principles are so deep and profound they could be from none other than Allah.

    I really enjoyed the academic style of this article which is clearly well researched, may Allah reward you for researching on behalf on the Muslims and giving us food for thought. I look forward to the next one. Barakallaahu feek

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