Muslim vote can sway the UK’s general election

British Muslims are being urged to turn out and vote in greater numbers than ever before in the upcoming UK general election amid claims their say could be decisive in shaping the country’s next government.

Turnout among Muslims eligible to vote has traditionally been significantly lower than among the wider population.

But campaigners say they hope a voter registration drive in the run-up to the May 9 ballot and community concerns over Islamophobia, British foreign policy, counter-terrorism measures, and economic and social marginalisation will motivate more people to participate.

Launching a “Muslim Manifesto”?at an event attended by members of parliament from each of the UK’s three main parties earlier this month, Sufyan Gulam Ismail, the head of MEND, a grassroots group encouraging Muslim participation in public life, said the potential for Muslim voters to re-elect or unseat incumbent candidates in many marginal seats was “absolutely extraordinary”.

The only reason this is possible, is because the UK let too many Muslims into the country in the first place. ? Projections are that they will have a democratic majority in key areas several decades from now. ?

Demographic factors are also increasing British Muslims’ political leverage.

According to figures from the last census, the Muslim population of England and Wales increased from 1.55 million to 2.77 million between 2001 and 2011.

In contrast to an aging population, 48 percent of British Muslims are 24 or younger, and one-third are under 15.

And with just 47 percent of eligible adults from the Muslim community estimated to have voted in 2010, compared with a turnout of 65 percent among the general population, campaigners say it is time for Muslims to stand up and be counted.

“The fact of the matter is that we are a community that is growing. We are becoming increasingly active in the political sphere and politicians will have to take notice,” Shamiel Joarder, a spokesperson for YouElect, another grassroots initiative to encourage Muslims to register to vote…

There is no need for terrorism. ?Time will deliver to Muslim Brits what they are aiming for: ?significant control, and eventually majority control of a secular western country.


– Al Jazeera