The number of Muslim MPs elected to the British parliament is expected to more than double at next week’s general election, and could reach up to a dozen or more.
The election is set to see the first Muslim women members of the House of Commons and the first Muslim MPs representing the Conservative Party.
In addition, Britain’s parliament is also likely to include its first Iraqi Kurd and first Bengali, while there is the possibility also of Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob becoming the first hijab-wearing MP, as already reported by IRNA.
Muslim candidates of various political persuasions are involved in a spectrum of intriguing contests for parliamentary seats around the country in part due to a record 146 MPs stepping down.
Labour has no less than seven Muslims, including three women, defending seats, the Conservatives one and another selected to capture the party’s number one target seat in Gillingham and Rainham, in eastern England.
A Muslim MP is also certain to be elected in Bethnal Green and Bow in East London, the most populous Muslim constituency, where uniquely no less than five Muslim candidates from different parties are vying for the seat vacated by anti-war Respect MP George Galloway.
Altogether a record of around 80 Muslim candidates are standing in the elections and according to the Muslim News, up to 15, or at least double the four, who were all Labour and all male, elected at the last election in 2005.
The elections are the closest for decades with so many uncertain factors and analysis also suggest that Britain’s two million Muslim population will play a decisive influence in the outcome.