Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Lobbying experience in Ilford-South|
|07/16/01 at 17:56:17|
|Lobbying experience in Ilford South|
By Inayat Bunglawala
Mike Gapes MP (Labour, Ilford South), the deputy-Chairman of the parliamentary lobby group Labour Friends of Israel, was re-elected on June 7 with a huge and unchanged 13,900 majority. This was despite a 3-month sustained and wide-ranging campaign by activists from the Association of Ilford Muslims to try and inform the traditionally Labour voting Muslims of Ilford about, what we believe to be, Gapes’ numerous anti-Muslim statements made in the House of Commons in his nine years as an MP since 1992. Indeed, there was actually a 2.5% swing towards Labour in Ilford South! How could this be so?
In February 2001, noting that General Elections were likely to be held in the very near future, the Association of Ilford Muslims (AIM) decided to undertake some research on their sitting MP Mike Gapes and find out how well he had been representing his constituents in parliament. As all Parliamentary debates and discussions are recorded in Hansard and available online (www.publications.parliament.uk) this was relatively easy to do. The findings, however, were stunning. They revealed that Gapes, who had always been the recipient of the lion’s share of votes from Ilford’s Muslims had a lengthy record of anti-Muslim statements and had been a consistent parliamentary apologist for the Israeli government. He had even vocally opposed the lifting of the arms embargo on the Bosnian Muslims to enable them to defend themselves against the well-equipped Serbian army.
AIM collated Gapes’ Parliamentary statements and sent them to him asking for an explanation. Gapes replied with a veiled legal threat asking whether AIM intended to publish his statements, “so that I may decide what course of action to take in response.” We decided to call his bluff and published 10,000 leaflets in English and Urdu to inform Ilford’s estimated 10,000 Muslims about our MP’s Parliamentary statements.
We soon found that Gapes had been bluffing and no legal manoeuvres materialised. However, he used his local and national media contacts to unleash a barrage of Islamophobic articles about our incipient campaign. He described us as ‘Muslim extremists’ and likened us to ‘neo-Nazis’ who were ‘distorting’ his words. This was strange as we had simply cut and pasted his own words from the official Hansard documents! The Jewish Chronicle, in particular, regularly carried Gapes’ hysterical statements. We were not intimidated, however, and carried on, trusting in God’s help.
For three months the Muslim activists in AIM distributed their leaflets outside the mosques, shopping centres and Muslim households urging them to study what their MP was saying about them. We realised also that in the medium-to-long term Muslims would have to join the mainstream parties in big numbers to affect change from within. So, we started with ourselves and joined the Labour Party, Conservatives and Lib-Dems.
Our educational campaign was very well received by Ilford’s Muslims, and it was notable that not a single Muslim said that they had known beforehand that Gapes had made these statements in Parliament. The only criticism we faced (aside from Gapes and the pro-Israel lobby) was from some Muslim members of the local Labour party and some activists from Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun (HT/M).
The objections of HT/M were, although they were strangely silent when asked to name just 5 Muslim scholars who had decreed that it was ‘haram’. Indeed, the HT/M call for Muslims to stay away from the polls on voting day was unwittingly (or perhaps wittingly) playing right into the hands of Mike Gapes and the pro-Israel lobby. How better to ensure that pro-Israeli influence was not curtailed?
Our campaign evidently appeared to be having an effect and one week before the elections Gapes was forced to issue a mass leaflet (in English, Urdu and Gujarati) to every single household in Ilford saying that he was not anti-Muslim and commended Muslims for their contribution to British society.
As you would expect, on the eve of the elections we were filled with doubt. Would the Muslim voters punish Gapes for his statements, or would they simply stay away from the polls. Would they be put off by the fact that the main opposition Tory candidate was a Hindu?
The results of the elections in Ilford South on June 7, were deeply disappointing. We had spent the day outside the polling booths in the mainly Muslim areas of Ilford and had been worried by the low Muslim voter turnout. The official Ilford turnout was 54% - we estimated that less than 30% of Muslims had voted.
I will recount two typical encounters with Muslim voters that day:
1) We saw a Muslim lady emerge from the polling booth and recognised her as someone to whom we had previously handed our leaflet. We asked her how she had voted and she said “Labour”. We asked her, “Didn’t you read our leaflet about what Gapes has been saying about Muslims?” “Yes,” she replied, “but I always vote for Labour.”
2) During our campaign I received a phone call from a Muslim doctor in Ilford who was astonished by our leaflet and commended us for making him aware about our MP’s true views. He rang me on the morning of June 8, and asked me what the election results were in Ilford. I told him that Gapes had won by a huge margin. “Oh no! How can that be?” he asked. “There could be many factors – we believe many Muslims unfortunately did not bother to vote,” I responded. “By the way, when did you vote?” I asked. “Er, actually, I didn’t vote either, Inayat,” he replied.
It is a long road that we face ahead of us…
[url=http://www.muslimnews.co.uk]The Muslim News[/url]
|Re: Lobbying experience in Ilford-South|
|07/17/01 at 11:21:47|
|I posted this article up earlier and the moderators deleted it.|
The reason why I put it up is to show how biddahi people bend facts.
When you say part of what happened without telling the whole, it often leads to the reader carrying more wrong ideas then if you said a complete lie.
You lot want to know what rely happened in Ilford South?
The Jewish MP has been making anti Islamic statements for a long time. Muslims still voted for it cause the ahlal democracy keep telling them we need to vote.
It is true that the man who was re-elected was a Zionist, but what they don't tell you is the man who was opposing him was a supporter of India in Kashmir.
What happened in Ilford south that the ahlal Democracy don't want you to know is there was a massive punch up out side the town hall between the two groups of Muslims. One group saying Muslims must vote for the Man who supports Indian troupes raping Muslim girls and women in Kashmir to prevent the Zionists from getting re-elected. The other group saying we must support the supporter of the baby killers of Israel to prevent the Hindu Nationalist from taking office. And these two groups of Muslims started tearing each other to pieces outside Ilford town hall, in the name of their respective Kufr political parties they want Muslims to support. They continued to beat each other until the police came to prevent the two groups of Muslims from killing each other in the name of gaining support for their respective anti Islamic politicians.
You want to know more?
Last election was the lowest turn out ever in any election in Britons whole democratic history.
The reason is even the kaffar have realised that there is no point in voting. Democracy is utter hypocrisy and a fanciful lie that is impractical and unobtainable.
If you speak to the average man on the street now and ask him if he sees any change coming from a change in political party, he will tell you in the negative. As it is clear for every one to see that big companies donate huge sums of money to both parties, to gain policies that are favourable to them. Even the non-Muslims can see the lie of democracy, why can't the ahlal democracy? Or is the whisperings of shatan blinding them to what is clear for all to see?
Every one in this country knows that important stuff like international policy is formulated by the civil service. In this country the desire of the individual politician does not matter, because if he is a member of a political party he has to vote according to the party line, else the whip will be removed and he will no longer be part of that party and will not be elected again.
No matter what party ruled, Briton has always supported Zionism, and Indian rule for the whole of Kashmir. We must remember that it was the British who established Israel and handed all of Kashmir to the Indians during partition.
|Re: Lobbying experience in Ilford-South|
|07/17/01 at 13:22:07|
[quote]I posted this article up earlier and the moderators deleted it.[/quote]
This will *not* turn into a discussion on the permissibility of political participation in non-Muslim lands. Just check yourself.
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