The Muslim Association of Britain is deeply concerned by the comments made by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on Monday where he actively encouraged the British public to turn away from a particular political party at the next General Election on the 12th of December.
In choosing to highlight one party and disregard the very problematic dog whistle policies employed across the board, the Chief Rabbi hides behind the false illusion that targeting minorities and otherising them, will lead to a safer environment for Jews; a dangerous idea and indeed counter productive to tackling anti-semitism.
Anti-semitism is very real and exists, not just in the Labour Party, but throughout society and it needs to be confronted. However, The biggest disservice done to society and country is to hide behind platitudes that minimise or belittle the real concerns held.
We believe religious leaders have a responsibility towards promoting the values of tolerance and understanding, and to challenge all expressions of hate. In his comments unfortunately, the Chief Rabbi has chosen to do the opposite and send a direct message to the Conservative Party that they can continue to court votes despite their damaging and divisive rhetoric.
We agree with the Chief Rabbi on one thing however, people do need to vote with their conscience in the general election. As Britain heads to the polls, people have a responsibility to hold our political leaders to account, and to address all forms of racism across the board. They must also ensure that point-scoring with our concerns is unacceptable.
Parties should be be more concerned with tackling actual bigotry and in-party issues than attacking one another.
Muslim Association of Britain
26th November 2019
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