June 7, 2016 This is undoubtedly the most important vote Britons will ever cast in our generation; and Muslims should use their vote for a stronger Europe.’ President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Dr Omer El-Hamdoon, made the remark when questioned about the 23 June referendum to decide whether Britain remains in, or exits the European Union.
While acknowledging that the EU is not a perfect body, MAB believes Britain will be much stronger as a member state for the following reasons:
A vote to remain in Europe will, in the present climate, safeguard the integrity of the United Kingdom. A vote to leave will revive calls for independence in Scotland and other British Isles.
The EU plays a major role in consolidating and upholding democratic values. Its Convention of Human Rights offers a viable framework that ensures every European citizen is treated with dignity and respect. Claims that the Convention is a foreign imposition are manifestly wrong, given that the chair of its drafting committee was Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, a distinguished British lawyer.
Apart from personal security, the EU also helps with ensuring environmental security by placing strict limits on various types of pollution.
Membership of the EU has brought other benefits. There are 1.4 million Britons living in EU countries. Approximately 3.5 million British jobs are directly linked to our membership of the EU’s single market. Exit from the EU would put 1 in 10 jobs at risk. It would, further, jeopardise the interest of 74 per cent of British exporters and over 300,000 British companies who operate in EU markets.
Exit from the EU runs the risk of perpetuating rifts in British society, which would increase levels of hate crimes against British Muslims. The past few years have witnessed a disturbing rise of xenophobia and Islamophobia in our society. Sadly, the recent London mayoral elections have highlighted the extent to which the vilification of Muslims has become part of mainstream political discourse.
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The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the UK Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to an Israeli think-tank report, 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 UK left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue.Since then, it appears that the BMI is moribund and that the MAB has resumed its role as the central organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. Anas Al-Tikriti, the former leader of the BMI and the son of Usama Al-Tikriti one of the leaders of the Iraqi the Muslim Brotherhood, declared recently that he has returned to the MAB as its Chairman.
Given the nature and history of the MAB, the GMBDW doubts that the explanation set forth in the MAB statement reflect its true reasons for opposing the UK exit from the EU. We suspect that whatever those reasons truly are, they likely have something to do with the UK’s current role as the “command and control center” for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.