The Muslim Council of Britain, a national representative Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, including mosques, charities and schools, has released research judging each major party’s manifesto against the priorities and concerns of their members from Muslim communities across the UK, which it articulated in its general elections policy platform report, in the form of a series of 10 key pledges which it called on all political parities to commit to, with tackling Islamophobia being the key priority.
This follows a statement made by the Muslim Council of Britain last week in which it accused the governing Conservative Party of “denial, dismissal and deceit” over the issue of Islamophobia, following the intervention of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis who urged people to “vote with their conscience” in the general election, stating that Labour had not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism.
STATEMENT: The Muslim Council of Britain Responds to Chief Rabbi's Comments | 26 November 2019 pic.twitter.com/hr6KypBlw3
— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) November 26, 2019
On the ten key pledges below, the Labour manifesto achieved a “Pass” on nine out of the ten, the Liberal Democrats achieved a 50% pass rate, and the Conservatives did not achieve a “Pass” on a single one of the policy areas, but were recognised as making progress on various issues.
The pledges are:
1. Tackle Racism and Islamophobia
Adopt the APPG on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia across the UK, defining Islamophobia as being rooted in racism and as a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
- Religious Liberty
Defend the right of Muslims – and people of all faiths – to express their faith, be that in religious clothing, food and reasonable accommodation of religious observance.
- Engagement with Muslim Communities
Commit to proactively engage with a broad and representative spectrum of British Muslim communities to ensure a plurality of views are being considered.
- Safety at Places of Worship
Safeguard visitors at places of worship, by providing support and funding for any Muslim institutions to implement safety measures, in line with other faith groups.
- Effective Health and Elderly Care Services
Focus policymaking on ensuring equity for all sections of society, recognising the gap in health and wellbeing standards, particularly between older and elderly Muslims and the general population.
Encourage the resettlement of refugees across the UK, working with communities to address and tackle issues faced by refugees resettling in Britain.
- Full Economic, Social and Public Participation in British Life
Enhance democracy by enabling increased participation of minorities and women in politics and public life, addressing the underlying socio-economic challenges in place.
- Criminal Justice
Address the disparity of treatment and outcomes for BAME people within the criminal justice system. Rebuild trust with Muslim communities by ensuring all counter-terror legislation is evidence-led, non-discriminatory, and open to evaluation.
- Equality in Education
Ensure a fair approach to educational provision for all children, with a syllabus that reflects the diversity of communities, with appropriate parent involvement.
- Ethical Foreign Policy
Support a binding recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state, and address human rights abuses abroad, including in Kashmir, Xinjiang and Myanmar.
MCB Secretary General, Harun Khan, said:“We want British Muslims’ key concerns – some of which are unique to them but many of which are universal – to be acknowledged and represented across political divides.”