European Elections – Should Muslims Really Vote?

The EU has a population of 500 million, the Muslim Ummah in Europe total 53 million, once again the Ummah is being urged to participate and engage in this week’s European election. Whilst European nations are witnessing a decline in participation the Muslim Ummah is being urged by various domestic politicians and by some within the Muslim community to not just vote in the upcoming European election but actively participate.

There are two fundamental reasons the Ummah is being urged to vote, the week before the election many mosques across Europe urged the Ummah in Europe to vote during the Jummah Khutbah’s, Imams across Europe have been arguing that its in the Muslims interest to vote. Some have argued that the Muslim community needs to elect their representatives as we have interests in Europe and these can only be achieved if Muslims elect their representatives. Fundamentally Muslim interests cannot be achieved by not entering the democratic parliamentary system.

Muslims are also being urged, incidentally by the mainstream political parties that by not voting the Ummah will be allowing far right parties into power. In a joint Statement, in the UK, some scholars endorsed and urged the Ummah to vote: “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.”

There are fundamental shari’ah violations when one votes for a kufr party whatever the perceived benefit as Allah سبحانه وتعالى told us:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
“Those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the Kafiroon.” [Al-Maaida, 5:47]

Such arguments do not stand up against historical facts when scrutinised. The Muslims in the UK are the most established community in Europe and are the best example to scrutinise.

When Muslims first arrived on British shores they experienced a British population with ingrained racism, this forced Muslim into there own enclaves and to work collectively to fulfil there needs and interests. In Many areas of the UK local community centres were booked in order to hold Jummah prayers and Eid Salah. Many elders collected funds and paid for houses which would be used as makeshift mosques. This eventually allowed many communities to expand such properties and turn them into official mosques. Another challenge the Ummah faced was of Halaal food. This was solved by many Muslim meat specialists purchasing the necessary equipment through raising funds from the Muslim community. The Muslim community came together and raised the necessary funds to achieve there interests.

The scaremongering of the far right British National Party is not a new style used by British government. Muslims are being urged if they do not vote than the BNP, a racist party, with the only policy of expelling Muslims will get into power. Whilst the BNP may have some support amongst a minority of the white population closer scrutiny shows that the government is in fact deflecting attention away from their own anti-Islamic policies.

It was not the BNP that lied to the public and launched the war in Iraq, massacring Muslims. It was not the BNP that took Britain into Afghanistan to support America’s crusade. It was the government not the BNP that developed the anti-terror laws, which makes illegal criticism of Britain’s foreign policy and bans Islamic groups who speak out against such acts. It was the government that enacted a policy of stop and search (harassment) against any Muslim who looks to be practicing Islam. Whilst the BNP have made many anti-Islamic remarks, the rise of the BNP which is openly racist is an indictment on the morally and politically bankrupt democratic system. Like the BNP mainstream political parties in the UK including the party in power have consistently shown their hatred for Muslims in the UK. Cabinet ministers have openly mocked Islam. It was a cabinet minister that remarked the Niqab was a mark of separation. It was Charles Clark, Home secretary that remarked there would be no negotiation about the Shari’ah and the Khilafah.

The Labour party and Conservatives have worked collectively to attack Islam and defame Muslims at every opportunity like the BNP

The Muslims Ummah should realise that since the first Muslims arrived in Europe working collectively has successfully delivered time and time again. Since the first Muslim MP’s entered into Parliaments across Europe nothing beneficial for the Ummah has been achieved, the vote for the Iraq war in the UK is a vivid example. Whilst many may have entered the political process with sincere aims the parliamentary system and its protection of national interests show that very few have remained sincere to there original intentions.

The last 5 years have shown that rather than then the far right attacking Islam it was mainstream political parties that led the attack. It was the French leader Jacques Chirac that implemented the policy of banning the Hijab in France. It was the Labour government of the UK that accuses the Muslims of the UK not integrating. It was the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen who protected Jyllands-Posten’s freedom to insult the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Across Europe whether the parties are far right or mainstream all have shown their colours. The Ummah needs to collectively work to secure its needs and interests as she has currently done – this path has proven to be successful at protecting the Ummah’s identity.