Imams will use Friday prayers to urge Muslims to register to vote, in an initiative backed by HOPE not hate and the British Muslim Forum
Hundreds of mosques across Britain will today urge British Muslims to play their part in shaping the future of their country.
The British Muslim Forum (BMF), an independent, national representative umbrella body of mosques, Muslim institutions and community organisations in the UK, has urged imams across the UK to include a message about registering to vote at Friday prayers today.
BMF spokesperson Imam Qari Asim, of Leeds Makkah Mosque, said:
“It’s vital that the voices of British Muslims are heard in this General Election. Our faith urges us to play an active role in the civic society in which we live.
“Voting is a hard-won right and we must not miss the opportunity to exercise that democratic right. The result of the General Election must be down to choice, and not the by-product of apathy. We are therefore asking mosques across the country to urge British Muslims to register to vote by the 22 May deadline.
“Although Ramadan is going be a busy time for us, the spiritual upliftment experienced during this month inspires Muslims to be active citizens. Muslims are advised to take the time to find out about the key issues that are going to affect their families and the country in the coming years, and then vote on 8 June to shape the future of our country together.”
This week the BMF has participated in the #MyFaithMyVote social media initiative to urge people of all faiths to get behind a voter registration drive, helping show that those of faith want to help shape the direction of the country alongside those with none.
Elisabeth Pop, HOPE not hate’s Voter Registration Campaign Manager, said:
“We welcome the call of the British Muslim Forum and are happy to once again work together on democratic engagement. For the past three years, HOPE not hate has run Souls to the Polls, a campaign organised with the help of faith communities ensuring people of every faith and those of none engage in the democratic process and get heard at every election.
“But at this snap general election in particular, given the short notice, the lack of financial support from the Cabinet Office to raise awareness and a busy religious calendar, we are especially encouraging civil participation by supporting the work of our Muslim friends, running voter registration drives in places of worship, as well as producing our own digital resources to ensure Muslim voices get heard on 8 June.”
HOPE not hate has been engaging student and other communities across this past week, pushing voter registration in student unions and other target areas across the UK – supported by the NUT and ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s – and will be driving a major voter engagement campaign for the coming three weeks to ensure that as many people as are able get a chance to vote on 8 June.
The voter registration deadline is Monday 22 May.