Anti-vote leaflets were circulated in Bradford prior to elections
EXCLUSIVE: Members of the Muslim community in the city of Bradford were urged to abstain from voting, the Yorkshire Standard can reveal.
Leaflets, which were delivered in the Thornbury area, said it was “strictly forbidden to vote in Islam” and promoted the hashtag #StayMuslimDontVote.
The leaflet stated that the “system of voting is part of the ideology of secularism” and “sovereignty belongs solely to Allah and the leader of the Islamic State (who is called the Khilafah)”.
It also said: “The Democratic system of governance in the West today is the result of an uprising against the hegemony of the Church and its oppression during the middles ages” and that Muslims “have never had the need for this separation as Islam covers every matter one can imagine from ruling to inheritance, from the judiciary to the economic system.”
Sumbul Ahmed, who received the leaflet through her door, said: “As a young Muslim voter I believe that this leaflet has been used to intimidate its audience, rather than to inform.
“From what I believe, the process of voting in the election is not a matter of religious ideologies. Rather, this kind of power should be used in its practicality to encourage more people to vote, not to deter them.”
The leaflet was posted through letterboxes a few days prior to the elections and promoted the same hashtag that were used in leaflets circulated in east London.
The #StayMuslimDontVote hashtag had also been used by radical preacher Anjem Choudary who on Twitter referred to an anti-voting campaign.
Doros Ullah, a former mayor of Tower Hamlets, said “a small group” in the area were giving a “bad name to the Muslim community” when the leaflets surfaced in east London.
Similar posters appeared earlier this year in the Welsh town of Grangetown.