The Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board has asked mosques to urge their congregations to fully participate in the European Elections and not let Brexit fatigue or apathy get in the way of exercising their democratic right.
Chair of MINAB, Imam Qari Asim, said:
The EU referendum has shown that our society is more fractured than any one of us would like. Some are using the European Elections campaign to espouse their hatred and prejudice towards those who are on the opposite side of the Brexit debate to them. The toxic campaigns and divisive rhetoric may deter some from participating in the European Elections on May 23.
But we must stand up to hatred and prejudice using democratic means.
Our faith Islam urges us to play an active role in the civic society in which we live. The opportunity to participate in democratic elections is valuable and precious, and we must use the ballot paper to defy those who seek to alienate and demonise minorities in Britain.
Although Ramadan is going be a busy time for us, the spiritual upliftment experienced during this month inspires Muslims to be active citizens. Muslims are advised to take the time to find out about the different political arguments about Brexit and broader issues in these European elections, and choose a range of parties and candidates.
People are often put off from voting because they believe that it would not make a difference. Abstention from voting is essentially indirect voting. Failing to vote will not realistically lead to the change that some of us want to see in our country. Abstaining from selecting an option would potentially leave room for the least preferred option to win. The only way you can be sure that your voice is heard is to vote. So let the result of the European Elections be down to choice, not the by-product of apathy or Brexit fatigue.”