Will this impact British Muslims? It is hard to tell. The right-wing agenda creeping into our politics is uneasy. It is uncomfortable and I am sure many Muslims do not feel easy with this mood.
So the result of the most historical vote of our lifetime is in and it is Brexit. The last few months have seen the UK campaigning for our future in Europe. Do we want to stay in or come out? It has been a campaign that left the nation split and the result has certainly reflected that.
The result was known on Friday 24th June, 2016 and the Brexit campaign had narrowly won the Remain campaign with almost a 4% difference. Brexit voted 51.9% and Remain 48.1%. It shows a nation heavily divided just like it has been all the way through.
For many people, the campaign was more about in-party fighting rather than what was best for the British nation. David Cameron and Boris Johnson fighting for PM seat; both men seemed more interested in their careers rather than what was at stake.
However, whilst they were boxing each other on who is the best candidate for PM, the right-wing party UKIP stole the limelight and started their fight on immigration. In doing so, they used terrible scare-mongering tactics to make people afraid of what will happen if we remained in the EU.
Facts were made up about Turkey joining the EU and how we will be flooded with Turks. A poster of Syrian refugees fleeing war was used to scare people into believing they were coming to invade Britain and British values, when in fact they were waiting at the Serbian boarders. Words like, “take back our country” “we want to control our boarders” “we want our sovereignty back” were all used to make people believe that we were tied to EU in every decision we have ever made. It simply wasn’t the case.
The people were rebelling against the establishment. Usually in a General Election, the economy is a huge factor. In the referendum, it seems people were willing to take the risk, despite economists, the Bank of England and the IMF warning that this would have disastrous impact on the British economy.
When the Brexit result was announced, the pound dropped to its lowest rate since 1985. This is enough proof that economists were not wrong, at least on the short-term.
Leave campaign achieved its mission to make People more concerned about immigration rather than anything else. They have played on it very well to the extent that they scapegoated any foreigner for the problems we have in the country. Over-crowded schools, an NHS that is falling apart as well as unemployment; none of which had anything to do with the EU but our own Government.
On the other hand, Remain campaign did not fight strongly enough for the cause of immigration and the positive contributions it might offer to our society.
A moment of shock and uncertainty
The nation is deeply divided at this point in time. People who supported Remain are feeling very shell-shocked and heartbroken. This was a day that no one really envisaged. Everyone knew the result was tight but it was always assumed that Remain would just edge it. The mood is quite somber and people are afraid of the unknown.
Brexit are, obviously more joyous, they see it as a good opportunity to rid the country or the rules and regulations of the Eu, the red tape. Some may even be living in a dream world thinking this is going to solve all the problems our country has been suffering from. The younger generations are feeling betrayed by the older ones. They have enjoyed so many benefits from being part of the EU and the future for them now looks bleak. This could turn into resentment and anger in the next few months but only time is going to tell.
Britain has always been a diverse country, accepting many people from many different backgrounds and religions. We pride ourselves on that melting pot. We thrive ourselves on that internationalism. It is still shown in certain areas, like London, Scotland and other places that voted remain. It is something many Brits are proud of. But now, the mood has changed. It has shifted to the right-wing.
Traditional Labour seats have shifted to UKIP. Why? Is it based on religion or race? No, it is based on the fact that they have lost their jobs, the areas they tend to live in are deprived and worse off in poverty and because they see their jobs going to immigrants. Their anger is seen in the vote for leave. They are fed up. They have had enough of paying the price of austerity. They found a way to kick the establishment and they took it.
Does this mean that they are all racist and they hate immigrants? No, quite the opposite but where the likes of Labour and the Tories didn’t listen to their needs, UKIP promised to do and so, despite their “blame all foreigners rhetoric”, they won. Can you blame them? Not really when they feel they have been left unheard for many years.
What about British Muslims?
Will this impact British Muslims? It is hard to tell. The right-wing agenda creeping into our politics is uneasy. It is uncomfortable and I am sure many Muslims do not feel easy with this mood. However, the leaders of the Brexit have said they will work to make sure this divide is filled. They know that the country is a diverse country and they know they are going to have to tread very carefully with the minorities in the UK.
I am not directly impacted as I live abroad. However, I do fear for my future. What if one day we wish to move back to the UK? What if my daughter wants to live in the country of her birth? What if we visit our country and find the mood so bad that it makes us uncomfortable? It is very difficult indeed to predict how things would go. We can only watch as this all unfolds and see what will come out of it.
I believe the divide shown in this referendum is not going to be easy to fill. It has left a very bitter taste in British politics. We are going to see very big changes in a very short space of time and only Allah knows if these changes are going to be positive or not.
It is a period full of uncertainty for all Brits. The politicians have their work cut out for them. They have to bridge this gap, they have to make the people who voted Remain feel more at ease, they have to take care of the minorities and make sure they feel comfortable in their own country.
We have to keep the atmosphere of diversity and acceptance in our country. This is a time when we really do have to unite no matter what religion, skin color or background we have. If this is going to work in all of our best interests, then we have to find a way to do it together rather than divided. If we remain divided, we are just inviting hatred and racism and it is something that is not going to be easily kicked out if it creeps in.