Ramadan will not affect the election say Redbridge Muslim leaders
- Credit: Archant
Redbridge Muslims will play a full part in the snap general election, despite the June 8 poll falling in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan.
Leading members of the borough’s Muslim community have said the Ramadan fast should have no effect on turnout.
“Ramadan does not stop you from doing your normal duties or your job,” said Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims, based in Eton Road, Ilford.
He added: “Ramadan is a month when you are tested, but life does not stop. As far as I’m concerned, you carry on as normal.”
Qaiser Malik, secretary of the Qur’ani Murkuz Trust (formerly the South Woodford Mosque), echoed Mr Chaudhry’s comments.
“The election is a political event and Ramadan is a spiritual event, they’re not connected.
“People go about their normal business during Ramadan, so they can go and vote as well.”
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Some Muslim MPs have warned that as well as suppressing turnout, the Ramadan fast - which runs from May 26 to June 24 this year - may make it harder for Muslims to be involved in the campaigns.
But Mr Chaudhry encouraged Muslims to both get out on the campaign trail and vote.
He said: “If people don’t like the result, it is not good enough for them to complain afterwards that they couldn’t vote because they were fasting for Ramadan.
“People should come out and support their party, whichever it is, and make their voices heard.
“There’s no excuse just because it’s Ramadan. You have to get out and vote. That is your duty.”
Mr Malik also had some advice for any Muslims campaigning.
“Make sure you select hours that don’t clash with the prayer times, especially the long evening prayers or breaking the fast.
“But if there’s something during the day or late afternoon and people want to go, then they should.”