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Britain's election - for these reasons Muslim votes are crucial


Al Jazeera Net-London

As Britain's election next month approaches, attention is being drawn to minorities who can make the difference.

Among these minorities is the Muslim community, which has become an electoral bloc capable of resolving dozens of parliamentary seats, as shown by a recent study issued by the British Muslim Council on the electoral presence of Muslims.

According to the study, the two million Muslim voters are able to decide 31 parliamentary seats in various regions of Britain, an important figure that parties are interested in and take care of, especially as the study showed that the Muslim voice will make a difference in a number of major constituencies in London.

The study by the council divides the impact of Muslim votes in various electoral districts into "high" and "medium", and calculates the margin required for each parliamentary seat, which ranges from 20 votes to 4000 votes, a margin that can be settled by Muslims in 31 seats.

These seats are divided between 14 Labor-controlled seats, 14 Conservative seats, and 3 with the Scottish National Party. The Liberal Democrats are also competing for some of these seats, while the Conservatives need nine more seats than they currently have to resolve the parliamentary majority, demonstrating the importance of Muslim votes.

In the list of parliamentary seats that can be resolved thanks to the Muslim voter, Kensington area in west London, where Labor MP Emma Dentcode has an absolute majority, followed by the Conservative Party.

In addition, the Liberal Democratic Party has entered the line of fierce competition, and only Muslim voices are able to tip a party in this area near the center of London, and has important resources.

In a London (European) mosque

High impact
Another area where the Muslim community is most influential is North Dudley in the Midwest.

Interestingly, it was in the hands of the Labor Party on behalf of former MP Ian Austin, before calling for a vote in the next election of Boris Johnson, and will appear in the next election whether the MP is able to achieve a majority again, or that the Muslim communities grumbling of Johnson's policies will vote for the party Laborers.

The same study also shows that the Muslim voter bloc will also have a crucial role to play at the heart of the balance of power in the Richmond Park district of the British capital, which is historically controlled by the Conservative Party. Currently, Muslims make up 4% of the total voters in the region, making it able to provide a winning margin for the competing parties.

The city of Birmingham remains one of the most British cities where Muslims will have an important role in enabling any party of parliamentary seats in view of the number of the Muslim community in this city and the rise of young people in its ranks, a group that is becoming more involved in the political process.

Muslims leave London mosque after Friday prayers (Getty Images)

Electoral behavior
For a long time, Muslims have shown a reluctance to the British political process, a behavior that is gradually changing without being overcome in the absolute. A report from the British Parliament on the last elections showed that only half of Muslims are eligible to vote.

On the other hand, many studies predict that this reluctance to change will become more popular in the coming years as the proportion of young people in the Muslim community increases, and 50% of them have higher degrees and show a greater commitment to the issues of the country.

According to a study issued by the Islamic Foundation for the Engagement and Development "Mand", the Labor Party remains closest to the Muslim communities. In the 2015 elections, 64% of Muslims voted for Labor, against 25% for the Conservatives.

In the 2017 elections, the same institution reports that Muslims have contributed significantly to the withdrawal of five seats from the Conservative Party and to the Labor Party. The latter is expected to maintain Muslim support, especially as the Conservatives are increasingly accused of adopting anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim positions.

Prince Charles meets Muslim students in Manchester (Getty Images)

Mobilization efforts
Representatives of Muslim communities in Britain understand the importance of the upcoming elections, as well as the ability of Muslims to make a difference in favor of their causes. Efforts by Muslim organizations in Britain to urge Muslims to register on the electoral lists and participate heavily have intensified. In this regard, the head of the Finsbury Park mosque, Mohammed Kuzbar, revealed a number of measures to mobilize Muslim communities.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Kuzbar said that Islamic organizations in Britain, including the British Islamic Council, produced a video urging registration in electoral lists. The aim is to increase the number of Muslims registered in the lists, explaining that the goal is not to influence the decision of the voters, but to do a duty towards the homeland and participate in the electoral process.

Another measure being taken by Islamic organizations is, according to Muhammad Kuzbar, the organization of the National Campaign for Muslim Voice Recording in Britain, which will coincide with the last Friday before entering the electoral silence. Mosques have recruited volunteers to register voters who are unable or unaware of registration procedures in electoral lists.

Mohammed Kuzber speaks with optimism about the ability of such measures to motivate Muslims not to be reluctant to participate in politics.

Source: aljazeera

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news 2020/01/21    

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