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

Firefighters are called out twice a day to Londoners trapped in the toilet

Going to the toilet is a fairly simple task for most people – that is, until you get locked in.

London Fire Brigade
Yesterday, 17:00
Glasshouse Gardens topping out ceremony

A year and a half on from when construction work began, the tallest block in Glasshouse Gardens has reached its peak.

Elizabeth Olympic
Yesterday, 12:00
Year 6 pupils in Newham are the fattest in London      Photo: Chris Radburn/PA

Nearly half of all children leaving primary school in the borough are overweight or obese, newly released figures show – the highest proportion in the capital.

Newham Council
Yesterday, 07:00
The Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and the Young Mayor of Newham Alex Jarrett donate to the Christmas Toy Appeal

The Christmas Toy Appeal received a boost this week when not just one mayor but two handed over a selection of gifts.

Community Links

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Digital Edition

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

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder