David Cameron is insufferable; his floppy hair and his relentless endeavour to pass himself off as a hardworking average Joe must annoy even the most hardcore Tory. But that is not enough to dismiss considering voting for him.
Contrary to popular belief, Tories don’t want to banish anyone who doesn’t have a double-barrelled name and doesn’t own a pair of corduroy trousers from the shores of this great country. They are not feudal, and don’t want to tax the poor to reward the rich.
Many of our parents came to this country at the height of Tory power in the 80s, they were given every opportunity to settle, assimilate and prosper. The conservative party then, and now, shares some key ideals with our émigré Iraqi community; it stresses the importance of family, community cohesion, and society. These have all been neglected for the last 13 years of Labour government that has seen the rate of teenage pregnancies sky rocket, hoisting with them the number of divorces and broken marriages. Drugs and alcohol now fuel antisocial behaviour like never before, with 10,000 cases reported every day. I thought Cameron’s enlightened plan to place 5,000 community organisers at the forefront of his strategies was refreshing, and could lead to some real change.
Some Muslims take exception to the Conservatives neo-liberal (yes…) economic policies. Their indefatigable defence of the free-market does get somewhat tedious. But I would like to remind all that Islam is in no way opposed to entering the market and prospering from it. The Blue Mosque in Istanbul has a wonderful calligraphic piece hanging at its entrance declaring “الكاسب حبيب الله” (A merchant is the beloved of God), while the noble Quran says
“Seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah has given you, and neglect not your portion of the world”
This is not to say that in seeking our “portion of the world” we can neglect our duties towards others; but this is not what the Tories are suggesting at all, and I would hope that when we consider our choices for next month’s election, we do so without paying too much heed to the stigma surrounding any of the political parties.