Why Must Muslims in the West Vote?

Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal

Muslims’ absence in politics and the calamity

The Muslims living in the Western countries like the UK, the USA, Germany and France  are growing only in numbers, but not in political power and influence. Such a crisis owes to their lack of participation in main-stream politics. Whereas the Jews have achieved exactly the opposite; their number is very small, but their political power is huge. It is due to their intense engagement in politics. Even the Hindus are making good inroads into the field; the current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the US Vice President Kamala Harris are the examples. Whereas the number Muslims is several times higher than the Hindus.

Muslims have failed badly to understand the importance of politics. As a result, a very few British Muslims are seen in politics. Whereas, the prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) made politics the greatest ibadah to accomplish the best deeds for mankind. In fact, he could build the finest civilisation on the earth only because of using politics as a powerful tool. It is jihad in Islam. Without it, the Agenda of the Almighty Allah stays only in the Holy Book.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used politics as a tool in educational, societal and cultural engineering. Otherwise he would have failed like other great prophets like Musa (peace be upon him) and Isa (peace be upon him) in state and civilisation building. He was the head of a state -much larger than the UK for 10 years. He showed how politics works as the most powerful tool to implement the social, the judicial, the educational and the welfare policy of Islam for the betterment of the common people. Since the Muslims have left politics, the field has been taken over in almost all Muslim countries by the power-hungry political predators. As a result the ummah now live under the occupation of its enemies. Islam’s Divine policies now exist only in the Holy Qur’an. It is indeed the greatest calamity for the ummah.

Why is politics  so crucial?

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle described humans as a political animal. If the political instinct is taken off, then a human survives only as an animal -focussed only for his physical survival and comfort. Only through politics, one can get access to the corridor of power and make his own positive contribution for the common good -both in the national and the international arenas. Only then can he or she be an active partner in the process of civilisation building. In Islam, such a duty is obligatory on every Muslim. All the great leaders in human history are indeed the products of politics. Therefore those who want to play a contributory role in making peace and human progress must use politics as a tool. Staying aloof and disengaged from politics is not an option for a man with an iota of moral conscience and responsibility.   

For the Muslims, the western countries opened avenues not only for economic opportunities but also for political opportunities -which they didn’t enjoy even in their own countries of origin. But it is very sad that the Muslims didn’t take the benefit of the available political opportunities. The Muslims in the West -especially those who live in the UK, have built hundreds of mosques and many madrasas. They also show their presence in various trades and professions. But they fail to understand that state policies that are related to their day-to-day life are not made in mosques, madrasas and professional premises; these are made only in the field of politics by the politicians. Hence, if they want to change their own fate they must engage in politics. Inaction is not an option. Such inaction can only increase their invisibility and powerlessness.

Those who are in politics, their prime aim is to stay in power. To meet that aim, they need to listen to the voters. The people in power feel accountable only to those who cast votes and show political muscles. In democracy, every vote counts. Therefore, the demographic force of a people needs to be transformed into political ammunition. In that count, Muslims’ failure in the West is huge. Their number hasn’t become a significant political power. Because they are divided and disinterested. They are focussed only on material gains and not on politics. This is why, neither the Conservative Party nor the Labour Party pay any attention to Muslims’ wishes. This is why, to appease the politically and intellectually powerful Jews, the two mainstream political parties of the UK compete one another to support the genocidal war crimes of Israel. The same is true for the US Democrats and the Republicans. The political dynamics are not different in other western countries.  

Politics offer opportunities

Every citizen is a stakeholder of his or her state. As a stakeholder, it is his or her prime duty to play the desired role. A true Muslim is indeed an embodiment of a holy ideological and political intent; hence can never be a mere political spectator. In fact, a Muslim is faith-bound to work as a formidable political and ideological influencer and changemaker. Doing good works for the state and its common people always works as his constant passion. Participation in elections is a powerful tool to play such a role. The democratic election indeed opens the door to execute their political rights. Therefore a true Muslim can never stay withdrawn from politics; rather explore every possible means to play the most effective role.  

How a Muslim should play his role even in a non-Muslim country, Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) sets an example. He joined the ministry of Pharaoh in Egypt to shape its economy and politics. The circumstances did not help him to implement Islamic principles in Egypt, but could help bring peace, progress and economic betterment for the common people. In modern times, voting is a powerful tool of exerting political influence. During the days of the Prophet (peace be upon him), there were no elections. In those days, there were no peaceful means of changing society. War against the criminal occupiers was the only option. The Prophet (peace be upon him) could not peacefully propagate Islam even in front of the house of Allah (SWT) in Makkah. But now, the situation has changed. One can preach Islam, even in front of 10 Downing Street or the White House. Since the current context and opportunities are different from those in the past, the strategies of defending Muslim interests cannot be similar either. The Muslims must make use of the new opportunities. Voting indeed provides such a valuable and powerful opportunity.

The power of votes: an Indian example                

In modern times, India is the best example to show how the Muslim votes can influence politics in a huge non-Muslim country. In 2004, the Muslims in India did not fight a war to remove the communal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power. Their unity and strategic voting did the job very peacefully. In the parliamentary election in 2024, they showed the same political might. The Muslim voters played a significant role in reducing the number of BJP MPs from 303 to 240. As a result, BJP lost its parliamentary majority.

Hence, it is incredibly foolish not to use such a powerful electoral tool to ensure safety, dignity and rights of Muslims in any non-Muslim country. The issue is not of establishing shariah or khilafa in any non-Muslim country through voting; it is an issue of Muslims’ life and death. If the Indian Muslims are told that voting is haram, it will be very difficult for them to contain their anger against such thoughtless naivety. In fact, only the enemies of Islam and the Muslims will celebrate their non-participation.

Muslim votes in the British politics

In any democratic country, parliament is an institution to frame laws and policies. While making laws and policies, members of the parliament cannot ignore the political, cultural and social needs of its own people. Every vote and opinion in that process makes a positive influence. In that process, the views of four million Muslims living in the UK, can’t be ignored. They could only be ignored, if they remain aloof from voting or withdraw from democratic institutions. This way they would descend down only to the status of second-class citizens.

One needs to be clear that the Muslims’ aim in voting in the UK is not to establish sharia or khilafa. The purpose is to change British policy towards Palestine, Kashmir, Rohingya, Uighurs and other Muslim issues. A Muslim can’t be silent on these issues -as a Jew is never silent on Israel. A Muslim’s heart is deeply attached to these issues.

The Israeli genocidal war-criminals have already killed more than 37 thousands and maimed more than 84 thousands in Gaza. They demolished more than 80 percent of residential installations. The British Government is complicit in the genocidal massacre not only by giving arms to Israel, but also giving all political support. The British have fathered an illicit Israel but didn’t do anything for the creation of a legal Palestine state. The British Muslims could not punish these criminals in courts, but they could punish them in the election by ballots. At least in some British electoral constituencies, they have the required power and potential to make these people pay a political price for ignoring the views of their Muslim constituents.

To defeat those who supported the Israeli genocidal war without any remorse, Muslims must make alliances even with non-Muslims. Some people argue, why should Muslims vote for a non-Muslim? The reason is simple. MPs are the people’s advocate in the parliament and their duty is to effectively plead the case for the members of their constituency. While selecting an advocate, people do not look at the language, religion or skin colour of the person but rather they give importance to their professional skills and commitment. Therefore, to win a case for jilbab in the court, a Muslim would not hesitate to take a non-Muslim advocate, as long as they can do the job effectively. This is equally true in elections.

 Muslims need strong voices

The Muslims of the UK now need more effective voices for their case. They need someone who will argue against the current British policy on Palestine, Kashmir, Arakan and Uighur issues. They should have the moral strength to support the just cause of all other people fighting against illegal occupations around the world. It is very encouraging that some energetic young Muslims are competing in the forthcoming British parliamentary election. It is a moral duty of every Muslim to support them for their electoral victory. Every electoral race creates leaders. It is a duty of every Muslim to play his or her role in the emergence of the new leaders. 15.06. 2024.

Post Tagged with ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *