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REMAIN vs BREXIT –  a compilation of views

REMAIN

Sahar Al-Faifi writing in Huffington Post:

. . . It is astonishing that the UK is questioning its role in Europe let alone having the referendum. For me as Welsh Muslim it is very important that the UK remains in the EU . . .

From my experience and others’, it is evident that there are disproportionate high rates of unemployment faced by British Muslims, and British Muslim women in particular. However, many of these anti-Muslim experiences in the workplace were not reported, since religion unlike race, gender, age, disability and sexual orientation was not considered a ground for legal protection against discrimination and unequal treatment in the UK. Nevertheless, this changed when the UK adopted the EU Employment Equality Framework Directive, whereby religion was considered a ground for legal protection against discrimination. If it was not for the EU membership, many British Muslims would suffer in silence and would not have equal access to education, employment and public life in general.

But it is not just the adoption of rules on equal treatment that are an advantage to our membership of the EU. The EU is striving to promote equality and good practice amongst its members. Recently the EU appointed a Coordinator on Anti-Muslim Hatred, David Friggieri, a lecturer in EU law at the University of Malta and the longest-standing member of the team working on the implementation of the EU’s Framework Decision on racism and xenophobia. Furthermore, the EU offers platforms to Muslim organisations often side-lined by Domestic Governments to contribute to debates on anti-Muslim hatred and will be spending £338 million between 2014-2020 to tackle Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination. The Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Parliament provide avenues to challenge the UK Government on policies such as the discriminatory law of Prevent and the ‘Snoopers Charter’.

Anyone, regardless their faith, race, gender and background ought to be treated equally and the EU provides a prominent avenue to promote such equality amongst its members, setting an aspiring global model and for this I am voting for the UK to remain in the EU.’ click here.

 Dr Zahid Parvez:

Dear all the date of the referendum on the EU (Thurs 23rd June) is drawing near. I am making a special appeal to vote to remain in the EU.

Indeed there are pros and cons about the impact of remaining or leaving the EU on the economy, immigration, national sovereignty/independence, national security, access to justice, etc. My key concern is, however, not these issues but related to the likely rise in nationalism, far right extremism, Islamophobia, and the global power shift that is likely to occur if the UK leaves the EU.

The majority of the political parties (Labour, Libdem, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green, etc.) are supporting to remain in the EU. However, Nigel Farage and UKIP and those leaning to the far right nationalism are campaigning to leave. In addition, we see around 50% of the Conservative Party, neo-cons and the more hawkish sections of the political right are campaigning for the UK to leave. But why?

My thinking is that by leaving the EU, it is likely that the UK will align its foreign and economic policies much more closely to the US – thus enhancing the power and influence of the US in the world further. On the other hand, the EU will likely become much limited in its influence, or weaken and perhaps might even eventually collapse if the UK leaves.

The far right, neo-liberals and neo-cons want the few powerful nations to use their power and influence to build a world order where they have total dominance. They want to push further muscular secularism (and do away with policies based on multi-culturalism). They want to eradicate the influence of religion in public life and hence desire to shape social, economic and foreign policies to support their national and global agenda. The consequences for this will be devastating for humanity.

For me one superpower is very dangerous. I believe that the US would have attacked Iran a few years ago had it not been for a great reluctance from the EU – EU is thus an obstacle in the way of those who are more hawkish right wing thinkers and politicians.

God says in His Glorious Book – “…And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of FASAD…. (2: 251)

The EU has prevented the ugly wars that we saw in the early part of the last century. A divided Europe is also likely to increase nationalism with serious consequences for all Europeans. Please therefore vote to remain so that we can work to strengthen the EU further and hence prevent power from concentrating further in one or a few countries.

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BREXIT

Riaz Sobrany in 5pillarsuk.com

. . . There is a common theory that opponents of the EU are miserable, right-wing, xenophobic, inwards-looking, isolationists who are living in the past, and that supporters of the EU are happy, tolerant, broad-minded, multicultural, outwards looking, progressive people with vision for the future. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My experience of pro-EU types is that, more often than not, they are blinkered individuals who struggle to see beyond the frontiers of Europe, European cultures, European languages, and European politics, into the wider world out there. They tend to view anything non-European as secondary to anything European and see the future of Britain in a stronger relationship with European countries and their peoples than non-European countries and their peoples.

. . . Much has been written about the economic advantages of Britain leaving the EU so I will only briefly touch on this subject . . . Britain has trade surpluses in certain products with countries outside of the EU whereas Britain has for decades constantly run a trade deficit with the EU. The lack of economic growth in EU countries means that there is minimal potential to increase economic growth in Britain through trade with the EU but potential exists for increasing economic growth by trading with countries outside of the EU. What this means is that the EU nowadays acts as a lead weight around the British economy and every year remaining in the EU means another year of recession for Britain. In other words, Britain joined the wrong club. click here.

Abdullah Thomson in islam21c.com

. . . It is often assumed that a Leave vote would hand power to those xenophobes but I am struggling to find a basis for believing that. They are not elected to positions of power, a Brexit would not suddenly put them in charge and much of the popular support gained with fear-mongering about the open borders policy would be gone. If anything, UKIP’s whole reason for being would vanish if the UK regained its independence. Mission accomplished. They’ll still rumble on trying to stop mosques being built and trying to force us to treat women like men but their biggest winner of support is the immigration issue and with that addressed their support would likely dwindle . . . Economic and other factors aside, I think, as Muslims we must be most concerned with the direction the EU is taking with regard to Islam and law making that affects Muslims. If the restrictions on Muslim life became so much we would not be able to live here; what does the economy matter in comparison? We should look to who is in the EU, the people and the politicians they elect, to decide if we want to be tied to whatever the popular vote there is. Effectively, a vote to remain with the EU is a vote to have the British public carry only an 8% say in European Council votes on legislation affecting the UK.  A vote to leave the EU is a vote to regain law making within our shores and regain our potential to influence it. . . . Is it not our life experience that positive changes can only come with action, with expanding the possibilities? Clinging to the status quo because of a fear of change, putting up with a system that was put on us before we were born just because it is what we are used to, is limiting the potential for positive change. For the reasons stated above, I will be voting to Leave the EU but, whichever way the vote goes, I ask Allah that it is the best for the Muslims. click here

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