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UK Umbrella Muslim Group Urges Muslims to Vote with Conscience

A leading British Muslim civil rights umbrella group has urged Muslim voters to vote with conscience in upcoming December elections, accusing the Tories of “denial, dismissal, and deceit” over the issue of Islamophobia.

“As a faith community, we commonly are threatened by Islamophobia,” the Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement on Facebook.

“This is an issue that is particularly acute in the Conservative Party who have approached Islamophobia with denial, dismissal, and deceit.

“It is abundantly clear to many Muslims that the Conservative Party tolerate Islamophobia, allow it to fester in society, and fail to put in place the measures necessary to root out this type of racism. It is as if the Conservative Party has a blind spot for this type of racism.

“British Muslims – whilst from the most disadvantaged communities and rarely allowed a voice in the public space – will listen to the Chief Rabbi and agree on the importance of voting with their conscience.”

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The group was responding to criticism of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

In the Times, the Chief Rabbi said Labour had not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism and urged people to “vote with their conscience” in the general election.

He wrote that the “overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety” at the prospect of a Labour victory in the 12 December poll.

In response, the MCB said British Muslims would “listen to the chief rabbi and agree on the importance of voting with their conscience”.

A spokesperson added that the “unacceptable presence of anti-Semitism in Britain” was a source of “real fear” for British Jews, BBC reported.

They added the chief rabbi’s comments “highlighted the importance of speaking out on the racism we face, whilst maintaining our non-partisan stance”.

The estimates of 2009 suggested a total of about 2.4 million Muslims over all the UK. According to the Pew Forum, the number of Muslims in Britain could now be around 3 million.

Earlier this month, the MCB released a list of 31 constituencies where Muslim voters could swing seats as it pushed for a nationwide voter registration drive.

Earlier in November, three leading British Muslim organizations urged Muslims to vote in the upcoming general election on December 12 to make their voices heard and exercise their civil obligations to fully engage in the society.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development), and Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) said that Muslims have the power to decide the next government.