On May 4th, voters in Leicester City and parts of Leicestershire will be voting in the local elections to elect their local councillors and in the city to elect the City Mayor to represent them for the next four years.
The Muslim community has, by and large, been ignored and alienated by the main political parties both locally and nationally. We as citizens contribute significantly to the economy and social fabric of this country, and the importance of the Muslim vote is something that neither we as Muslims nor politicians should take for granted.
A considerable proportion of the Muslim community is made up of young people who are less likely to vote, but these are the very voters we must encourage to become politically active to ensure politicians recognise and fight for the value and strength of the Muslim vote.
When engaging politicians or choosing who to vote for, British Muslims will share many of the same concerns as the rest of the population, such as the cost-of-living crisis, the economy, lower taxes, the NHS, how we care for the most vulnerable, and immigration policies. However, Muslims also have distinct political concerns around Islamophobia, hate crime, the safety and security of individuals and places of worship, and foreign policy.
We also know that, proportionally, Muslims experience much greater challenges in relation to health and economic inequality, including low levels of employment, substandard housing, and access to higher education.
We can only achieve a more unified and interconnected society if those in authority address these issues in a significant and just manner.
In line with the teachings of our faith, as upholders of social justice, we must challenge any politician or party who fuels hatred against any minority group, regardless of faith or ethnicity.
On May 4th, 2023, during the local elections in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, GO OUT and make your VOTE count!
The FMO do not endorse specific candidates, we wholeheartedly support any candidate that is committed and equipped to serve the best needs of the Muslim community and humanity.
Leicester City: A full list of candidates can be found here: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/statements-of-persons-nominated/
Leicestershire District and Borough Councils: For the full lists of candidates, please check the website of each district council.
Voters in England will also need to show photo ID to vote at a polling station
(There will be special arrangements in place for women wearing the niqab)
Information on all the above for Leicester City can be found at Elections and voting (leicester.gov.uk) For the District Councils you will need to check the relevant site which can be found at Find your district council | Leicestershire County Council