Extremists to Hackney muslims: “Don’t vote”

Photo: Press Association

EXTREME Islamic preachers, backed by notorious extremist Anjem Choudary, are trying to talk Dalston’s muslims out of voting in May, because they say only Allah can make law.

In a demonstration on Kingsland Road on Saturday, extremists pressurised local Muslims to flout the ballot box, saying “Allah is the only legislator”.

Al-Muhajiroun founder Anjem Choudary,  a groupwhich praised those responsible for the 9/11 and London bombing attacks, took to Twitter to back the demonstration.

Munaf Zeena, Chair of North London Muslim Community Centre, urged local Muslims to ignore the extremists pleas and turn up to vote in May.

He told The Hackney Post: “As far as voting in elections is concerned there are a few who believe that this is un-Islamic.

“However, the overwhelming majority of Muslims believe that voting is a necessary display of citizenship and support for a democratic process in a secular state.

“Accordingly, all Muslims who can vote should do so and also stand for election.”

The Muslim community make up 14 per cent of the population in Hackney, according to the 2011 Census.

“While everyone is free to choose whether they vote or not, we would encourage everyone to engage with the democratic process, because it is only when we are engaged that politicians will feel accountable,” said a spokesperson for Hackney Unites, an organisation that promotes diversity in the borough.

The Imam of Suleymaniye Mosque in Dalston said he did not comment on political issues.

Hackney Council have voiced concerns that Muslims are being discouraged from voting.

A spokesperson said: “The right to choose our political leaders in free and fair elections is an incredibly important freedom that allows us to have a say on who runs our country and how.

“We are actively encouraging all eligible residents to vote in the upcoming general election on 7 May and exercise their democratic right,” he added.