If the likes of Miqdaad Versi is for Remain, I’m for Brexit!
Among British Muslims, I hear a range of views on the European referendum: many seem to be apathetic, some want Britain to remain in the EU and a small number, such as the newly formed “Muslims for Britain”, support Brexit. Such a range of views seems comparable to the wider public.
However, as we face one of the most significant political decisions of our lifetime, I cannot sit idly by and watch friends voting with organisations such as Ukip and Britain First on this issue.
Well, I hate to break it to you, Miqdaad ol’ son, but in this country, that’s all you can do. Their vote is their business.
The rise of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the divisive language of Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign in London make it hard for many communities not to worry for the future. The UK doesn’t have a written constitution that protects our inalienable and universal human rights. All it takes is a simple majority in a sovereign parliament outside the EU to withdraw from the European court of human rights and create laws that erode the protections that minority communities currently enjoy.
Ah, yes. The usual scaremongering that Brexit will instantly cause fire, flood, cats and dogs living together… But with an extra Muslim twist!
Finally, and perhaps most crucially, our place in the world is at stake in this referendum. As with the UN and Nato, the EU allows Britain to amplify its voice into a more powerful decision-making sphere. In the past year we have influenced decisions on how to deal with the eurozone crisis, how to best support refugees streaming into Europe and how to ensure a more secure Europe through, for example, the European arrest warrant. For many Muslims, the ability to change foreign policy for the better is a core concern.
That is not to say the EU is perfect. There remains serious challenges to be addressed. For example, there are concerns that migration from the EU acts as a barrier preventing talented Muslims outside the EU from coming to work – although many would argue an artificial net migration cap is the real barrier, not the EU. The question of Turkey’s admission is of obvious concern to Muslim voters…
And the Western voters. But for vastly different reasons.