Muslim voting campaign issues UK Labour party list of 18 demands to win back votes lost over support for Israel

A Muslim vote group in the UK has issued a series of demands to Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, explaining how he can regain support lost over the handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

According to a report by The Times, the Muslim Vote is seeking to "punish" Members of Parliament who did not support a ceasefire in Gaza. The group has called for Starmer to apologize for his previous stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, pledge to sever military ties with Israel and advocate for allowing Muslims in the UK to pray in schools.

Additionally, the Muslim Vote demanded that Starmer "return the Zionist money," remove the government's definition of extremism, and impose a travel ban on Israeli politicians supporting Israel's military actions against Hamas. They warned that failure to meet these demands would result in their supporters not voting for the Labour Party and instead opting for the Greens or Liberal Democrats.

The group's actions come amidst the election of several pro-Gaza activists to councils across the UK, with the Muslim Vote seeking similar candidates in the upcoming general election. Labour Party campaign chief Pat McFadden acknowledged that the party's position on the conflict has cost it support in local elections.

“We are now seeing the electoral consequence of that,” explained Ali Milani, the chair of the Labour Muslim Network. “If I was a Labour MP in Bradford or Birmingham or Leicester or parts of London or Manchester, I would be seriously concerned.”

Among the demands, the Muslim Vote is seeking UK recognition of the state of Palestine, laws prohibiting British trade with Israeli settlements, and the denial of visas to Israeli politicians involved in settlement expansion in the West Bank.

The Muslim population in the UK has continued to grow over the last several years as migrants enter the country. Approximately 3.9 million people in Britain identify as Muslim, per the Times. 

The full list of demands are as follows:

1. Apologise for your comments greenlighting a genocide and for not backing the ceasefire in Oct/Nov 2023

2. Sanctions on companies operating in occupied territories. Sanctions on settlers

3. Recognise Palestine as a state

4. Travel ban on all Israeli politicians that prosecuted this war and support the illegal occupation

5. End military ties with Israel

6. Issue guidance that Muslims are allowed to pray at school

7. Implement findings of people’s review of Prevent — not Shawcross

8. Remove the “extremism” definition that [Michael] Gove introduced

9. Commit to full implementation of Royal Charter re media regulation

10. Adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia

11. Commit to a review of public sector equality duty

12. Increase council and public health funding for the 10% most deprived areas in the country to finally address systemic and chronic health inequities as detailed in the Marmot Review and revisited by the Health Foundation 10 years later

13. Deliver alternative student finance

14. Ensure Sharia-compliant pensions are available at every workplace, so the one third of Muslims without a pension get one

15. Ensure insurance quotes don’t cost more for someone called “Muhammad”

16. Commit 7 per cent of the local government pension scheme/public sector pensions to ethical and Islamic funds

17. Oppose BDS bill. Kick it out of law

18. Remove the archaic “spiritual influence” offence from statute

Image: Title: Keir