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Muslim campaign launch in Wales aimed at getting people to vote against the Tories and Labour

11 May 2024 5 minute read
Abdul-Azim Ahmed. Photo via Youtube

Martin Shipton

A campaign aimed at persuading Muslims and others not to vote for Tory or Labour general election candidates who have backed Israel’s invasion of Gaza is having its Welsh launch on Saturday May 11.

The Muslim Vote campaign is calling for candidates to support policies including freedom for Palestine; an end to Islamophobia and discrimination across healthcare, education, media, employment, justice and political systems; and major increases in funding to the NHS, housing and economic regeneration in the poorest constituencies in the UK.

The event, entitled Be the Change We Need, will begin at 5pm in the Temple of Peace in Cathays Park,

Abdul-Azim Ahmed, Secretary General of Muslim Council Wales, said: “Anyone with a heart, Muslim or not, will have been horrified at Israel’s most recent onslaught against Gaza, one which continues to this day. Horrifying too is the defence some politicians have put forward for Israel’s actions, and the reluctance to call – at a bare minimum – for a ceasefire.

In the next eight months, there will be a general election. The Muslim Vote is a campaign that is coordinating across the UK to ensure that politicians realise there is a political cost to defending the indefensible. Mainstream Muslim groups across Britain are supporting the campaign, and the Muslim Council of Wales is one of them.”

Onslaught

Sumayya Ahmed of The Muslim Vote in Wales said: “The mainstream parties have failed us on every level. It is time we unite to drive genocidal MPs out and ethically viable MPs in. Government funding seems scarce when it comes to our NHS, education and other public services, yet ample when supporting the Israeli genocidal onslaught against an indigenous population in Palestine. Come to the South Wales Community Group meeting to find out how you can be at the heart of that change. This is a call for all groups to mobilise and reclaim our democracy and freedoms.”

Arising out of dissatisfaction with the way many politicians responded to atrocities in Gaza, and a sense that the “Muslim Vote” was being taken for granted, the campaign in South Wales says it is also attracting support from many non-Muslims, supporting its goal to elect politicians who stand for global justice, first class public services, and an end to poverty and racism in Britain. Many of the organisations involved in recent city protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza are backing the event including Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stand Up For Palestine, and Black Lives Matter.

Among the speakers at the meeting will be former Plaid Cymru MS Bethan Sayed, whose talk is entitled Influencing and Campaigning: the best strategic approaches to activate sleeping communities.

Keir Starmer

While many Muslims and others have been angered by the UK Government’s support for Israel, and its failure to condemn unequivocally the killing of Palestinian civilians, mainly women and children, there has been equal condemnation of Labour, whose leader Sir Keir Starmer said in an interview with LBC that Israel had the right to withhold power and water from civilians in Gaza after the terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas. Later Sir Keir claimed that he had been answering a different question.

The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza is estimated at around 35,000. Labour MPs did not support an SNP motion in the Commons calling for a ceasefire.

At the end of February the Rochdale by-election was won by veteran left-winger George Galloway, standing for the Workers’ Party of Britain on a pro-Palestine manifesto. The Labour candidate had been disowned by his party after the contents of a recording was published by the Daily Mail in which he backed a conspiracy theory that Israel had allowed the October 7 killings to go ahead, giving them the green light to invade Gaza.

Asked whether the Muslim community would be asked not to vote for Labour as well as the Conservatives, Ms Ahmed said people were angry with both parties and that was the implication.

Muslim-specific

She said: “There are other candidates to vote for, including Independents and Plaid Cymru, but at this meeting we won’t be endorsing any in particular. We will however be encouraging people to go to hustings meetings in the run-up to the general election, and even to organise such meetings, so the candidates can be questioned. Some of the issues we will be raising are Muslim-specific, but others have a wider interest for the whole community, including improving the health service and education. The two main parties are letting people down, we believe. We want candidates to be judged on their responses to our concerns.”

According to the 2021 Census, the Welsh constituency with the highest proportion of Muslims was Cardiff Central with 11.5%. Its current MP is Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens, who has had demonstrators outside her office because of her failure to vote for a Gaza ceasefire. New constituency boundaries will operate at the general election because of the reduction in the number of MPs elected in Wales from 40 to 32.

* The public meeting – Be The Change We Need – will be held between 5pm and 8pm on Saturday May 11 at the Temple of Peace, King Edward VII Ave, Cardiff CF10 3AP.


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Jeff
Jeff
7 days ago

Don’t vote for them but don’t vote for them either. Who will be in power at the next GE, the Tory party. Not sure how this will work if you remove labour votes.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

The Tories run the elections as a ‘First past the post’ system because it supports them in power. The same system as used by dictator Lukashenko uses to stay in power in Belarus. So called Welsh Labour are introducing a ‘Party List system’ where you vote not for who you would like as your representative but for the party’s choice. That is the same system used by dictator Netanyahu in Israel. Says a lot. That is why we need a Plaid Cymru led government. This will enable for the people of Wales to control our own fate. Other parties you… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
7 days ago

Plaid, Green, Libs, depends. At the moment they will not remove the Cons in my local so no vote for them. There in lies the problem with the next GE. Cons win, UK will suffer greatly. They are just warming up.

I am Wales indy curious but not when it will make things worse to “stick it to the man”.

CapM
CapM
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/fcgi-bin/calcwork23.py?seat=Bridgend

Chances of winning new Bridgend constituency
Tory win 2%
Labour win 97%
Labour predicted to win all 19 wards.

These predictions are a cause of worry to Kier and should be for you as well.
Make doubly sure you’re registered to vote for Starmerlabour.
Cease being Indy curious immediately you will make things worse for a Starmerlabour government.

Be proud and confident that your vote for Starmerabour is as important to Kier as any right wing defecting Tory MP is.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
6 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Such a shame the Labour Party has been highjacked by right wing middle class people who have no care or concern for ordinary people. They have swallowed the tory mantra of monetarism wholeheartedly and it doesn’t work except to suck wealth up to the few. In addition the Welsh branch is too incompetent and corrupt to be viable. Plaid Cymru is the only answer

Jeff
Jeff
6 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Vote ain’t over till it is counted with all the others. Then we find out how close the polls are. So I am not voting cos poll. My focus is UK at the mo.

CapM
CapM
6 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

” My focus is UK at the mo.”
The “at the mo” is surely superfluous,

Glwyo
Glwyo
6 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

“Tired of Tory? Try diet Tory, half the calories and none of the flavour.”

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

What difference will voting Labour make! None whatsoever.
Just a continuation of the Tories which will be worse than Blair/Brown who continued from Thatcher/Major.
Or as George Galloway put it 2 cheeks of the same backside.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
7 days ago

Fully agree with this. Hope the 2 main parties get smashed.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago

So who gets the “Muslim vote” ? Bit presumptuous to expect them all to vote en bloc for say GG’s party. Would that be enough to tip the balance in any seat other than 1 or 2 in the bigger cities here in Wales ?. Could have an effect in metropolitan Engerland where virtue signaling pseudo lefties could indulge their fantasies while chucking a bit of a lifeline to Tories by denting Sir Keef’s presumed majority. It’s all a bit of a distraction but as I said above a great chance to exercise your fake rebel credentials.

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
7 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

There are a lot of people genuinely disillusioned with Labour and looking for someone else to vote for that is more in line with their priorities and beliefs, not looking to be “chucking a bit of a lifeline to the Tories”

Tomos
Tomos
7 days ago

This will excite some of the smaller parties such as Plaid and Green but is unlikely to make a real difference. Look at the recent by-election in Grangetown (the ward with one of the highest, if not the highest, Muslim population in Wales. Labour won with nearly half of the vote. The combined Green and Plaid candidate was not far in front of the Tories.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago
Reply to  Tomos

Do something not nothing. Remember that poignant 1930s Spanish Civil War poster that featured a dead child quote: “If you tolerate this then your children will be next, ” end quote. #FreePalestine 🇵🇸

Marc
Marc
7 days ago

This will be music to the ears of the far right and only succeed in putting the Tories back in power

karl
karl
7 days ago
Reply to  Marc

Labour right now in England are so Tory they got a far right Torry nutter to cross the floor. So a Labour government doesn’t look as Labour as it might hasve once upon a time.In fact its not suggesting any real hope.

Glwyo
Glwyo
6 days ago
Reply to  Marc

If it’s so bad then tell your boss to put electoral reform in his manifesto. Until he does you can bugger off with this pathetic argument.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
7 days ago

Can we please just have a party that is concerned for Wales and the people of Wales, not groups and parties concerned with sectarian or ‘woke’ or Islamist or far right divisions, just Wales?

Last edited 7 days ago by Mr Williams
hdavies15
hdavies15
7 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Try Gwlad ! That should get some of the easily offended up and scribbling !

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

You forgot to include Welsh Language activists and those who are vocally anti Welsh Language

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago

When you have the two main Westminster parties, both Conservatives & Labour, condoning Palestinian genocide, especially Labour, when leader Keir Starmer, an alleged “Human Rights lawyer”, who stated recently on BBC that Israel had the right to stop food, water & aid to Gaza, which is a warcrime under UN article 3, but condemned Russia when it did similar and said that Putin was a war criminal and should be tried in the Hague for genocide complicit and hypocrisy personified. How can anyone willing to vote for Labour in the upcoming general election with a conscience sleep sound at night… Read more »

Gaynor
Gaynor
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Agree but Unfortunately this campaign is one driven by the politics of England. There are other parties in Wales but these people seem oblivious to them

Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
7 days ago

This is a sad and alarming indication of the ghetto and sectarianised society we seem to be heading towards.

Erisian
Erisian
6 days ago

I have a lot of sympathy with this point of view, but I’d still urge voters to think strategically. No point feeling good about your voting intentions if you let the Tories back in, or reduce a Labour win to such a degree they can’t get anything done.
I am also uncomfortable with the idea that there is even such a thing as a Muslim Vote. Far too reductive, there is patently no such thing as a Christian Vote, or even a LGBTQ+ vote. Identity does not imply a single political standpoint

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

It’s completely different on the other side of the Pond.
The Conservative Evangelical Vote played a massive role in getting Donald Trump elected.Also since he created of the state of Israel the Pro Jewish lobby have had a massive influence in the US political system.

D C Jones
D C Jones
5 minutes ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

‘Pro Jewish lobby’.

Tell me you’re racist without telling me you’re a racist.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 days ago

This should also apply to Mon Muslims, aside the Palestine issue both Tories and Labour under Starmer are nothing but a disaster for the economically disadvantaged

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