ELECTING TO DELIVER addresses common concerns of British life. It is aimed at all political parties, policy makers and interested citizens to engage them in a mutual dialogue. The Muslim Council of Britain exists to play a constructive role in achieving a nation at ease with itself: accepting of diversity, yet able to appreciate shared values, acknowledge common interests and build inclusive communities through collective endeavour. To be a nation truly representative of its people we are obliged to listen to each other and to learn how to work together to fulfill our collective potential and realise the strengths of our diversity.
Britain’s Muslims are predominantly young, and more of them are born and raised in Britain. Their parents come from many ethnic backgrounds and cultures with a rich diversity of heritages. A ‘community of communities’, British Muslims have been, and are, united through strong ties of faith identity that transcends ethnic boundaries. It is the moral and ethical principles of their faith that urges them to be concerned and responsible citizens and active participants in the life of their nation. In many respects the needs and aspirations of Britain’s Muslim community are no different from those of our fellow citizens – whatever their beliefs or backgrounds. Concerns about health and education, national prosperity, strong public infrastructure and good public services are common to us all.
The values of community life, the need to build strong communities of mutual support, are basic principles that connect Muslims to their fellow citizens. From our diverse backgrounds and beliefs we can make common cause to achieve a better Britain for everyone. Electing to Deliver is a document designed to serve this purpose. In the forthcoming General Election, increased numbers of Muslims will be eligible to vote – many as first time voters. They are citizens fully engaged in the life, concerns and future course of our nation. We encourage all Muslims to take an active part in all the issues of the election campaign.
We seek to give voice to the whole range principles, ideas and concerns that British Muslims will contribute to the national debate, not merely for their own interests, but the common good of our shared future. Electing to Deliver is based on extensive consultation with Muslim community representatives. It seeks to articulate the ideals as well as the needs of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims. We draw attention to particular policy areas affecting the Muslim community that also concern the rest of British society. We highlight the issues of freedom from discrimination, greater representation, targeted policies to alleviate poverty and deprivation and initiatives in health and education. We call for the recognition of faith identity and seek fairness and justice in international relations.
The Muslim Council of Britain hopes to work constructively with the next Government – of whatever party. Our main concern as an organisation is the welfare of British Muslims; we believe this must be sought by serving and sharing in the common good of Britain as a whole.