Friday, April 22, 2005

Forward, not Left

One of the paradoxes about our current situation is the contrast between the citizenship approach heralded by the government towards the Muslim community and the present mass mobilisation of the community. A citizenship agenda has been championed by the Home Office and New Labour over the last year or so, and this has been at times pointed in the direction of the Muslim community. This agenda aims towards increasing involvement in political participation amongst other activities (e.g. voluntary work, engagement in civil society etc.). But what this election is showing us is that there is in fact a huge amount of political awareness and mobilisation within the community – all these young Muslims running around at present gathering support for the Liberals, Respect or anybody else for that matter are acting as good citizens, only in a way that Labour finds disagreeable. This peculiarly reveals a lack of cynicism towards the electoral process against the current climate and despite the behaviour of the present government.


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