Stickers warn Muslims off voting in Manor Park
PUBLISHED: 17:18 27 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:30 28 April 2015
Stickers placed on lamp posts warning Muslims not to vote in the upcoming election have been condemned for copying "evil" Islamic State teachings.
The messages were posted in Manor park and accuse Muslims who vote of “shirk”, which is equal to idolatry and strictly forbidden in Islam.
Designed in black and orange, the messages read: “Warning voting for man-made law is shirk associating with Allah.”
Laura Hakes, 35, of Manor Park, said she was “disturbed” to find the messages on lamp posts along Romford Road and set about removing them.
She said she thought they were “intimidating” and might put Muslims off voting, adding: “I was on my way to see the marathon and on every lamp post there were these bright orange stickers.
“We’re a very mixed community here and I don’t want anyone from that community to feel they can’t vote. It felt a bit aggressive seeing it on every lamp post.”
The Forest Gate branch of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an, a global anti-terror movement, condemned the stickers, comparing their message to that of Islamic State (IS).
“One of the places where British and Islamic values coincide is democracy,” said spokesman Shahid Mursaleen. “It’s part of Islam to be democratic.
“They’ve got this from IS who don’t believe in the election. The evil IS are sucking up young Muslims in this country.”
He added Muslims should not be intimidated out of voting.
“People should go to vote,” he said. “They should go and vote for whoever they believe will serve their community better.”
The Muslim Council of Britain also condemned the messages.
“Every election time, a small band of naysayers will try to dissuade people not to vote,” a spokeswoman told the Recorder.
“We have anti-Muslim bigots telling us that Muslims participating in politics is a threat to our democracy while a band of misguided agitators tell us this is against Islam – both are wrong.
“Every election time the Muslim Council of Britain and scores of mosques and imams come out in large numbers urging people to vote for the good of our country and as a civic duty we as Muslims must fulfil.”
Newham Council is working with police to remove stickers.
“Newham Council is aware of a number of incidents of fly posting in the Upton Park area during the weekend,” a spokeswoman said. “The stickers have now been removed and the council’s enforcement partnership team are working with the police to investigate.”
Similar stickers have been seen in Leicester over the last week, according to reports.