Christian parliamentary candidate in Bradford excluded from Muslim only election hustings

May 17, 2017 by

by Archbishop Cranmer:

George Grant is the Conservative Party’s parliamentary candidate in Bradford West. He also happens to be a Christian, and is thereby excluded from Bradford’s Muslim Women’s Council General Election hustings, which appears to be restricted to Muslim candidates (or is it female and Muslim candidates?)

Labour has held Bradford West for the past four decades, save for a momentary intervention in 2012 by George Galloway’s Respect Party with grateful assistance from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAK UK). “God KNOWS who is a Muslim and he KNOWS who is not. I, George Galloway, do not drink and never have,” wrote Mr Galloway on his election literature. “I’m a better Pakistani than (Labour’s Imran Hussain) will ever be,” he declared at his campaign launch. “God knows who’s a Muslim and who is not. And a man that’s never out of the pub shouldn’t be going around telling people you should vote for him because he’s a Muslim.”

This was a wise exhortation: Muslims should not just vote for Muslim candidates simply because they are Muslim, any more than women should just vote for women, white people for white candidates or disabled people for the disabled. People are more than an identity tag, and political philosophy is deeper than a protected characteristic. But by restricting the Muslim women of Bradford West to an election hustings which features only the two female Muslim candidates (who happen to be Labour’s [anti-Semitic?] Naz Shah and George Galloway’s erstwhile Respect sidekick [and Islamist defender] Salma Yaqoob), the assumption appears to be that the compliant Muslim women of Bradford West will (must?) vote for one of the female Muslim candidates, both of whom hang on the political left.

Understandably, George Grant isn’t overly pleased about this “unprogressive, undemocratic and deeply unhelpful” meeting. This is, after all, the liberal democracy of the United Kingdom in the 21st century. Inviting candidates to participate in election hustings on the basis of their sex or religion is… um… well… sexist and bigoted, isn’t it? It is certainly illiberal and discriminatory: imagine the outcry if a Catholic men’s club convened an election hustings restricted to the two male Roman Catholics (Labour and LibDem) and excluded the female Anglican (Tory) candidate and the male Muslim (Ukip) candidate. Would such Christian(/white) segregation be tolerated? And let’s not even begin to ponder an election hustings convened by a church which excluded the Green Party atheist who happened also to be gay. Selective hustings do have a place (one may wish, for example, to exclude half a dozen cranks and gadfly candidates from debates simply because of time constraints), but a person’s sex and religion can never be justifiable grounds for exclusion: this is not Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

George Grant expounded his grievance on Facebook:

Read here


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