General Election: There’s more to it than voting
The Quran says: ‘Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves’ (13:11).
This ayat (verse) is the very ethos of our campaigning work at Islamic Relief. We want to take steps to make changes in ourselves that will improve the conditions of our brothers and sisters in humanity who are suffering around the world.
With polling day fast approaching, we want to challenge all our supporters across the country to be a voice that calls for justice for the world’s poorest. The next few weeks offer a great opportunity to inform your local Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) about issues of global importance – and maybe even change their views.
There are 1.2 billion people who live in extreme poverty, and Islamic Relief believes it is our collective responsibility to remind politicians from all parties what can be done to tackle the root causes of poverty, whether that means conflict, climate change or a lack of basic healthcare.
There’s more at stake in this election than just the domestic agenda. This is a crucial year for agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals, which means our next government will be in a position to play an important role in gearing up international efforts to end global poverty. It’s also a pivotal year in the fight against climate change, as world leaders prepare to gather in Paris in December to discuss ambitious targets to protect the planet that Allah has gifted us with.
What can you do?
1- Identify your local candidates
Our friends at BOND have this handy tool where you can find out who your local candidates are and contact them
2- Attend local events and hustings
What better way to influence the agenda of both the future Parliament and Government than by turning up to local events with PPCs and making your voice count? You can find national listings of hustings at this handy website https://meetyournextmp.com/
3- Ask questions on international development and climate change
We have some questions below that you can ask on our behalf as a supporter of Islamic Relief, as well as coming up with your own ideas
4- Email us with information on how your PPC responds
We will use this information to hold your local politicans to account on how they vote on international development issues if they win a seat in Parliament. So do email us firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you get on!
The things we will be asking the next government for include:
- Investment in cleaner and renewable energy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost sustainable growth in the UK and in developing countries.
- Increased support for developing countries to adapt to climate change.
- Ensuring that action on climate change is a central element of the UN’s post-2015 development goals.
- Creating a stand-alone gender-related goal as part of the post -2015 framework, in order to help eradicate gender-based violence, promote the participation and leadership of women in all aspects of decision making, and deliver economic justice for women.
- Working more closely with faith leaders and faith-based organisations who have the authority and trust to engage with communities.
- Renewing efforts to end gross violations of international humanitarian and human-rights law, particularly in conflict zones, and helping to improve humanitarian access in those places.
- Ensuring that the UK maintains a separate Department for International Development that continues our country’s global leadership on fighting global poverty.
Key questions to ask:
1 – What will you do to speak out for the world’s poorest countries and communities and ensure that the UK is an international development champion?
2 – What will you do to make tackling climate change a priority and ensure that concrete action is taken to prevent it from pushing people deeper into poverty overseas?
3 – What will you do to ensure that women are better protected against gender-based violence internationally, and that the rights of women to play a full part in society are upheld and extended ?
4 – Some Muslim charities are under a lot of scrutiny and pressure right now, but these organisations provide life-saving support to thousands of remote and vulnerable communities. How will you ensure that the Government supports the good work these charities do?
And remember to email email@example.com with any feedback you receive!