31 March 2010
The Conservative Muslim Forum exists to engage with Muslims of all persuasions and encourage them to participate in political life at all levels, from grassroots to Parliament.
We want Muslims to make effective and positive contributions to the development of an inclusive and cohesive society in the United Kingdom and we work to maintain and build bridges with all communities and religions within the United Kingdom.
Every day, the Government makes decisions that affect our daily lives and every year, it spends about 41p out of every £1 we earn. In the year ended 31 March 2007 that came to about £549 billion, which is just over £9,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Everything that the Government does is ultimately decided by the 646 elected members of parliament who decide which laws are passed on all sorts of issues from health and education to foreign policy and welfare reform.
The Conservative party has about 300,000 members, an average of about 500 per constituency. Those members influence all sorts of decisions from who should be the Party leader to having an input on policy development and selecting their local candidate. In short, Party members who get involved have far greater influence than voters who are not Party members, where the average constituency has about 70,000 electors.
As a Muslim citizen of Britain, you can sit on the sidelines and complain about Government policies you don't like; or you can get involved and make your voice heard.
Elsewhere in the world people are dying or spending lifetimes in prison struggling for the democratic rights that we get free in Britain. However these democratic rights mean nothing unless you are willing to use them.
We believe the Conservative Party's values and policies reflect the values and beliefs of the Muslim community in the United Kingdom. We share a belief in enterprise, in the sense of community, belief in the family and in the value of hard work.
Many Muslims have been very successful in business and professions. But unfortunately, there are others who live in deprived areas and suffer from higher unemployment and lower health outcomes than the average in this country.
We hope that you will play your part in addressing some of these issues by getting involved and joining the Conservative Muslim Forum today.
Why the Conservative Party?
The fundamental values of the Conservative Party include recognising the importance of the family, scepticism of state control, a belief in private enterprise, low taxes and personal responsibility. Many Conservatives also understand the importance of religious belief.
These Conservative values appeal to many Muslims.
What difference will it make if I become a member of CMF?
The CMF is the organised voice of Muslims in the Conservative party. Every extra member adds to CMF's weight and influence within the party.
How much money will this cost me?
It will cost you £25 a year to be a member of the Conservative party.
Membership of the CMF itself is free, but you must be a Conservative party member. If you want to give any extra money voluntarily to the CMF, that is up to you.
How much of my time will this take up?
It needs only the time to fill out the form and send in your £25 and become a signed up member of CMF. Of course, if you want, you can get more involved with the CMF and with your local party branch. Voting in internal party elections, to help decide who leads the party, and helping decide on the candidate for MP will take you negligible time if you choose to do it.
How much impact can Muslims have since they are only 3% of the population?
Most people in Britain don't get involved with politics. Accordingly those that do can have a big impact. The CMF makes regular contributions to the policy debate within the Conservative Party and by getting involved you can have your say.
How much difference can I make by myself?
Don't underestimate the impact of your own decisions.
As well as your personal membership of the CMF, you can tell other members of your family and your friends; many of them will join because of you.
Together we can change this country and make it a better place for everyone.
Some people have said that the Conservative Party contains racists. Is this true?
David Cameron has taken a very strong stance against racism and bigotry wherever it exists in our society and has worked hard to modernise the Conservative Party and make it more inclusive and open to all sections of society. Trevor Philips of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said that the Conservative Party has made more progress than the Labour Party in tackling prejudice and that is why more and more Muslims feel at home in the Conservative Party.
What is the stance of the Conservative Party on the Middle East?
Like all three major political parties in Britain, the Conservative Party supports a two state solution to bring about lasting peace to the Middle East. This would require Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories and Hamas to renounce violence.
What about the Conservative party policies I don't agree with?
You won’t find any political party whose views agree exactly with yours. Every party is a broad coalition.
You need to choose the party that you agree with the most, even if there are some policies you don't like. Also, once you are a party member your voice can be heard on decisions regarding party policy.
Shouldn't Muslims have their own political party?
We strongly disagree with this. Muslims share the same religion but, like everyone else in Britain, they will have different views on many issues from agriculture to zoology and almost everything in between. As well as ruling out a Muslim political party, it also shows why it is unrealistic to expect all Muslims to belong to only one of the mainstream parties. We want to improve community cohesion in Britain and that means Muslims playing their full part in real British politics, not shutting themselves off in a separate minority party.
What if I prefer Labour policies to Conservative policies?
You should join the Party that you have greatest sympathy with. The worst thing is to be apathetic and do nothing.
Are Islam and democracy incompatible?
No, they are completely compatible, and the Muslim members of the CMF have no doubts on this point. The Grand Mufti of Egypt has said “Islam calls on Muslims to be productive members of whatever society they find themselves in. Islam embodies a flexibility that allows Muslims to do so without any internal or external conflict.”
If you are unconvinced, please do your own religious research and we are sure you will agree.
There is a form at this link to join the CMF which is free if you are already a Conservative Party member. Otherwise, you can use this form to join the Conservative Party at the same time.