UK Umbrella Muslim Group Urges Muslims to Vote with Conscience

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A leading British Muslim civil rights umbrella group has urged Muslim voters to vote with conscience in upcoming December elections, accusing the Tories of “denial, dismissal, and deceit” over the issue of Islamophobia.

“As a faith community, we commonly are threatened by Islamophobia,” the Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement on Facebook.

“This is an issue that is particularly acute in the Conservative Party who have approached Islamophobia with denial, dismissal, and deceit.

“It is abundantly clear to many Muslims that the
Conservative Party tolerate Islamophobia, allow it to fester in society, and
fail to put in place the measures necessary to root out this type of racism. It
is as if the Conservative Party has a blind spot for this type of racism.

“British Muslims – whilst from the most
disadvantaged communities and rarely allowed a voice in the public space – will
listen to the Chief Rabbi and agree on the importance of voting with their
conscience.”

The group
was responding to criticism of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism by Chief
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

In the Times, the Chief Rabbi said Labour had not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism and urged people to “vote with their conscience” in the general election.

He wrote
that the “overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by
anxiety” at the prospect of a Labour victory in the 12 December poll.

In
response, the MCB said British Muslims would “listen to the chief rabbi
and agree on the importance of voting with their conscience”.

A spokesperson added that the “unacceptable presence of anti-Semitism in Britain” was a source of “real fear” for British Jews, BBC reported.

They added
the chief rabbi’s comments “highlighted the importance of speaking out on
the racism we face, whilst maintaining our non-partisan stance”.

The
estimates of 2009 suggested a total of about 2.4 million Muslims over all the
UK. According to the Pew Forum, the number of Muslims in Britain could now be
around 3 million.

Earlier this month, the MCB released a list of 31 constituencies where Muslim voters could swing seats as it pushed for a nationwide voter registration drive.

Earlier in November, three leading British Muslim organizations urged Muslims to vote in the upcoming general election on December 12 to make their voices heard and exercise their civil obligations to fully engage in the society.

The Muslim
Council of Britain (MCB), MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development), and
Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) said that Muslims have the power to
decide the next government.

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