From Finsbury Park Mosque in London, England, to Masjid al-Hikmah in Aberdeen, Scotland, mosques across the UK are gearing up for a national voter registration drive this Friday.
The drive follows analysis released by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) which has revealed that Muslim voters could impact the outcome of 31 marginal constituencies in the General Election on December 12th.
Of the 31 seats, 14 are currently held by Labour, 14 by the Conservatives and 3 by the SNP. The full list of constituencies can be found here and you can identify your constituency by entering your postcode here.
Among the seats where Muslim voters could have the highest impact is Richmond Park, whose current Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, was accused of Islamophobia during his London mayoral campaign against Sadiq Khan, in which he attempted to link the now-mayor with extremism. Also on the list is Harrow East, which is currently represented by Conservative MP, Bob Blackman, who has also made the headlines after several accusations of Islamophobia, including hosting an anti-Muslim Indian nationalist in Parliament, who has praised the Rohingya genocide and has called on the UN to control the birthrate of Muslims.
Six of the seats where Muslim votes could have the highest impact are held by Labour MPs, the majority of whom have vocally opposed Islamophobia.
The MCB’s analysis is part of a wider strategy to encourage Muslim communities to vote and has been praised by mosques and community leaders across the country. In addition to the analysis, the MCB also encourages communities to engage with the election debate by identifying issues of concern for Muslim communities.
MCB Secretary-General, Harun Khan, said: “As active participants in our society, Muslims – in all their diversity – can play a significant role in what may become a close election, and we hope that the parties listen and reach out to Muslim communities across the country to engage on issues of concern.”
Zara Mohamed, Assistant Secretary-General at the MCB, added: “It’s important that we all – young and old – realise our potential to make change through political participation. Our votes matter. Be it the mosque, community organisation, student society or women’s group, each of us can make a difference. This is as true in Ealing as in Edinburgh – we all have a responsibility to encourage as many people to register to vote.”
Mohammed Kozbar, Chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, which was attacked by a far-right terrorist in 2017, said: “At my mosque we know the price we all pay when certain communities are excluded from politics. It is high time Muslims make their voices heard – especially as many Muslim communities are in seats where they can be the difference between one candidate or another ending up in Parliament.”
Nasir Mahmood, Deputy Chair of Birmingham Central Mosque, said: “It is the civic duty of every citizen – Muslim or not – to exercise their democratic right to vote. As community leaders, we must do our utmost to help our members participate as fully in the election as they wish to. This initiative is key to engaging our communities and helping Muslims make their voices heard this election.”
Anyone hoping to organise their own voter registration drive can find more information here.
The deadline to register to vote online is November 26th at 11:59 pm.
You can register online at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote