Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Muslim vote

One interesting trend in the British election was that, despite the election of the odious George Galloway, British Muslims by and large did not abandon Tony Blair:
Muslim Vote UK, run from Birmingham by Shaista Gohir, an academic, said: "The older generation are traditional Labour supporters. They had nowhere else to go. It's the younger ones who have become politicised."....
There is plenty of evidence to show that the Lib Dems and Respect benefited from Muslim anger.... But Labour had one advantage and mobilised Muslim councillors and activists to neutralise the Islamic lobby, which was out to "get Blair"....Asians also like to win and they sensed that Mr Blair would return, wounded but victorious.
"Muslims are becoming discriminating," said Mr Bunglawala. "This is why the council did not go for the anti-Blair line. The Labour Party's links with Muslims did not entirely break down because of the war."
Perhaps, as well, it shows that the Muslims did not object to the war quite as much as was commonly assumed. I wonder whether many people actually secretly supported it but it was simply a taboo to say so publicly, much as being against Israel is taboo in the Jewish community (unless you're talking to an Israeli fundraiser...). Others, of course, did object to the war, but in the end bread-and-butter issues proved more important to them.

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