The 2010 General Election is the most closely contested in our country for a generation. No party is assured or confident of victory. As British citizens we are morally bound to participate in the political process to secure the best government for our country and pursue our legitimate aspirations. Although it is often difficult to distinguish between parties, we should identify candidates most deserving of our support who have good chances of winning. Muslims need to vote responsibly and tactically, which may require supporting a candidate with whom we may not agree on every political view. After substantial research and wide consultation, taking local, national and international issues into consideration, BMI has compiled a list of recommended candidates in order to help individuals make an informed choice at the elections. The Muslim vote does not only count. It can decide. Vote responsibly and vote tactically.
The most well known individual on the list is George Galloway, a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and a recent post discussed his role in Viva Palestina, a UK registered charity associated which is currently under investigation by U.K. authorities. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to sources in the U.K, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Anas Al-Tikriti, the leader of the BMI, is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.