Discharge your duty and vote on June 4th say Muslim scholars
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Friday May 29 2009
|A group of British Muslim scholars (‘ulama) have released a statement calling on British Muslims to ‘discharge their duty’ and vote in the June 4th county council and European Parliament elections.
The scholars are urging Muslims to dispel their disappointment over the recent expenses scandals in which MPs have been embroiled and resist the temptation to stay away from the polling booths. They said:
‘As ulema, scholars belonging to Islam’s diverse traditions and schools of thoughts, we come together to urge our brothers and sisters to take part in the forthcoming election and vote on 4 June.
‘Participating in the democratic process is vital. As citizens we have a right to choose the people who represent us and to determine who gets to affect our daily lives. As Muslims, we have an obligation to join hands with others to elect those who will seek the common good.‘
‘Muslims should exercise their vote and use the opportunity, alongside their fellow Britons, to vote for people who they feel will represent them, and will discharge their duty to seek the common good in a spirit of public service. It is a time to demand greater scrutiny of those who represent us.
‘On June 4, we have an added responsibility to vote in the European elections. For the first time, openly anti-Muslim parties have a very real chance of gaining national prominence by winning a seat in the European Parliament. They will join Islamophobes from continental Europe to further perpetuate their message of hate against Muslims. In the past, their leaders have described Islam as “a vicious, wicked faith” and have falsely accused Muslims of all sorts of crimes. Their words have led to racist violence – if they get elected on 4 June, they will have public funding that will only amplify their vicious Islamophobia.
‘Ensure all members of your families and your locality are organised to vote together in great numbers and stop racist and anti-Muslim candidates get elected in the European Parliament.’
The ‘ulama statement has the endorsement of the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body.