Forest Gate Muslim group defends Islam’s democratic traditions

07:00 30 May 2014

Islamic group staff members 
Zahid Rehman, Ashar Saeed, Ajmal Khan, and Ali Khan.

Islamic group staff members Zahid Rehman, Ashar Saeed, Ajmal Khan, and Ali Khan.


A Muslim group in Forest Gate says Muslims taking part in elections has a tradition going back to the Prophet Muhammad.

Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran, said the idea that voting in the local elections or any elections is Haram (forbidden) in Islam is a misinterpretation of the faith.

“Muslims should take part in voting and the political process,” he said.

“We encourage voting and we host debates at our centre. Last year we hosted Boris Johnson and had a Question Time with the local community at our Mosque in Forest Gate.

“Next month we’re starting a radio station that will be covering Ramadan.

“We’re planning to invited Boris Johnson back, along with the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and a few others, to come on and discuss local issues, discuss local problems, or even political things effecting Muslims in east London.”

Mr Mursaleen said extreme Muslim groups that say voting is forbidden are mistaken.

He said: “It is all allowed in Islam. Groups that are against it have a wrong interpretation of Islam.

“They say it’s against Islam, they want a Khalifah (Islamic state). But this is completely going against the teachings of Islam.”

He explained there are some things forbidden in the Qur’an, such as drinking alcohol and eating pork, but anything not mentioned is allowed.

“Voting is not mentioned as being prohibited. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad and his followers took park in voting.

“There were elections in his time. There was even a parliament where women were voting.

“During that time they used to call it Shura, but it’s like a parliament.”

Minhaj-ul-Quran was founded by Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Pakistani theologian who authored a fatwa against terrorism and suicide-bombing in 2010.

Earlier this year it published a book on Muhammad as part of its work to counter what it considers false interpretations of Islam.

For more information visit


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

46 minutes ago
The Campaign Against Arms Trade protested against the DSEI arms fair, which was held in the ExCel Centre

The readers’ response to last week’s debate is in.

United Kingdom
56 minutes ago
A high court decision is set to have a big impact on the future of Uber in London (Picture: PA Images)

The first week of a TfL consultation to increase regulation of private hire vehicles has attracted a huge backlash, particularly from the wildly successful taxi app, Uber.

British government
Frances Gov (nee Laval) with her fantasy novel, The Prince of Carentan which she has published with her fater, Devek Laval.

A dad and his daughter have teamed up to explore the world of medieval fantasy in their first ever published novel.

Plashet School
The mysterious creature John found in his grapes

A man was left shocked and confused as he opened a carton of supermarket grapes and found a strange insect inside.


Most read news


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more
You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder