Inayat Bunglawala argues that the Conservatives are doing too little to woo disenchanted Muslim voters, given that they are still three times more likely to vote for Labour than the Tories. The criticism of ignoring the ‘Muslim vote’ comes as a result of the Tories’ failure to attend this:
Last night, the Muslim Council of Britain â€“ the UK’s largest Islamic umbrella body â€“ held a gala dinner in London at which the Labour party was represented by the justice secretary, Jack Straw and the communities secretary, John Denham. The Lib Dem party leader, Nick Clegg, was also present. As elections are fast approaching this is perhaps not so very surprising. What was surprising, however, was that no frontbencher from the Conservative party deemed it worthwhile attending this event, which brought together more than 400 key figures from the UK’s diverse Muslim communities.
Inayat Bunglawala is
a former secretary-general the media secretary of the MCB, which is probably where the following comes from:
And with the latest polls showing that we may be heading for a hung parliament, the Conservative party leadership could yet come to regret their needlessly offensive snub last night.
Yet his thinking is representative of a wider issue, which is the continued failure to treat Muslims as individuals. The BNP do it, the media does it and too many public figures do it as well. As Sunny has pointed out a number of times, there is nothing wrong with multiple identities, nor the idea that someone’s identities will probably influence they way they vote. Yet the moment we start talking about things like the ‘Muslim vote’, we are putting people into a box and expecting them to behave in a certain way because of their label. We do not talk of chasing the ‘white vote’, as we see white people as individuals, albeit with multiple identities that might inform their politics..
Let the Conservatives chase the votes of people who happen to be Muslims; not the ‘Muslim vote’.
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Filed in: Muslim,Organisations