Vote to block the far right, Muslims urged

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Muslims are being urged to use their votes in the local and European elections to stop the threat from the far right, it was reported today.

Muslims are being urged to use their votes in the local and European elections to stop the threat from the far right, it was reported today.

The Muslim Council of Britain has penned an open letter warning of BNP success in the event of a low turnout on June 10, the BBC says.

The group claims a party political broadcast by the BNP last week was threatening and anti-Muslim, although the BNP insists it is not a threat to the Muslim community.

The council said the BNP would need less than 10% of the vote to win a seat on the Greater London Authority or in the European Parliament - successes which would entitle it to public funding.

"The rise of the far-right parties poses a dangerous threat to our communities," the letter says.

Denying any BNP threat to British Muslims, BNP press officer Dr Phil Edwards described the council's letter as "a threat to democracy".

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "They are threatening the democratic process by trying to influence people to vote against a party which supports the aims and aspirations of the indigenous population of this country."

The council hit back at the BNP spokesman's comments today.

Spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said: "It is rather strange that the far right are concerned by us urging Muslims to come out and vote.

"They seem to think that it is anti-democratic by urging the Muslim community, who are now 1.6 million-strong in the UK, to participate fully in the upcoming local and European elections. We want them to play their full part in our democratic process.

"In a low turnout, the results can be skewed in favour of very small parties and we want the result to reflect fairly people's positions."

He said the open letter would start arriving today at every mosque and Islamic association in Britain.

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