Britain – Redbridge Muslim leaders condemn calls for community not to vote

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SHAFAQNA – Community leaders have denounced a leaflet being handed out across “parts of London and the rest of the country” titled: StayMuslimDontVote.

The document, backed by Abu Sayfullaah, of Bow, east London, tells Muslims “only Allah has the right to legislate laws” and if a human does this it “is considered the most heinous crime known as ‘Shirk’”.

But the League of British Muslims chairman, Bashir Chaudhry, of Clements Road, Ilford, and the chairman of Federation of Redbridge Muslims Organisation (FORMO), Farouk Ismail, both moved quickly to dismiss the document.

Mr Chaudhry called the message “a load of rubbish” and called Islamic activist Anjem Choudary “an idiot”.

Mr Choudary, formerly of Ilford, has called for Muslims to abstain from voting repeatedly on Twitter.

Mr Sayfullah told Shafaqna, “A few Muslims have made it to make the community and non-Muslims aware of the issues facing Muslims at the elections.”

He added he did not regard Muslim politicians – such as Sadiq Khan or Nadhim Zahawi – as Muslims.

“They give Islam a bad name,” he added.

In response to these claims, Mr Chaudhary said: “They do not know what they are talking about.

“You have got to take part in the society you are living in – laws are made for the benefit of society.”

He also added: “If these people do not like the laws of this land then they should move somewhere else.”

Mr Ismail, whose organisation has publicly encouraged Muslims to vote, said: “The majority of Muslims are happy to have the chance to vote.”

FORMO has helped organise two hustings events in Ilford North and Ilford South to give Muslims an opportunity to pose questions to party candidates in the build up to the election.

“More people have shown more interest, and more people have said they will go and vote since the last election,” he said.

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