The British House of Commons will hold a debate on Monday, January 18, 2016, on whether or not Donald Trump should be banned from the United Kingdom later this month, based on his call for Muslims to be shut out of the United States temporarily.
The United Kingdom lawmakers have noted that Trump’s proposal was in response to the mass shooting that killed 14 people and injured 21 others in San Bernardino, California. The attack was carried out by a Muslim couple who supported the Islamic State.
It is also common knowledge in the United Kingdom that the U.S. Republican presidential aspirant enjoys the backing of a majority of Americans on his proposed ban. Gateway Pundit scores a 55 percent majority of Americans who support Trump’s Muslim ban, along with 72 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats.
The British debate would be a result of two petitions on the government website. One petition calling for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump to be banned from the United Kingdom has so far attracted 568,609 signatures. A counter petition against the proposed ban on Trump has been signed by 39,417 people.
Trump has called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” after deadly terror attacks involving Islamic extremists in California and France. British Prime Minister David Cameron has characterized Trump’s comment as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”. While building a Muslim constituency, Cameron has made it a point to declare Islamic terrorists not representative of Islam.
Meanwhile, Muslim voters have come of age as an important consideration in British parliamentary elections. According to the Henry Jackson Society, the number of Muslims is now greater than the margin of victory in 2010 for 159 of the 632 seats in parliament.
The Guardian states that the Muslim population of England and Wales is growing faster than the overall population, with a higher proportion of children and a lower ratio of elderly people. The vast majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom live in England: 2,660,116 (one in 20 of the overall U.K. population).
The Muslim Council of Britain notes that Muslims make up 20 percent or more of the electorate in 26 constituencies and live in all local authority areas in England and Wales. Sociologist Sundas Ali of Oxford University had this to say about Muslims in the United Kingdom.
“There has been a spreading-out effect and this has accelerated in the past 10 years.”
While participation in secular non-sharia politics is considered kufar, or not of Allah, efforts have been made by Muslim leaders to get their people engaged in a collective activity where their community is impacted. The million man march of black Muslim Americans is a case in point, or the drive to get half a million signatures on a petition banning Trump from the United Kingdom.
Dr. Haitham al-Haddad, who serves as a judge for the Islamic Sharia Council of the United Kingdom and Eire, encourages such activity based upon “strategic decision making” among British Muslims. According to Islam 21c.com, he quotes two Qur’anic commands that make united action among Muslims obligatory for their own good.
First is what Allāh says in the Qur’ān.
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh (i.e. this Qur’ān or the guidance of Allāh), and be not divided among yourselves.”
Second is the statement of the Prophet Mohammed.
“Adhere to the jamāʿah (community), and avoid division, for the Satan is closer to the lone individual and is far from a group. Whoever seeks the expanse of Paradise should stick to the jamāʿah.”
Parliamentary member Helen Jones of the Labour Party, traditionally reliant on Muslim votes, chairs the committee deciding which petitions warrant a debate for the United Kingdom. Putting on a mantle of impartiality, she issued the following statement.
“By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the U.K. As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated. A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed.”
Chancellor George Osborne told the House of Commons he does not think Trump should be banned from the United Kingdom. Osborne preferred to “engage in a robust democratic argument” with Trump rather than ban him. And, as the Trump Organization warned, “alienate the many millions of United States citizens who wholeheartedly support Mr. Trump and have made him the forerunner by far in the 2016 presidential election.”
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]