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Corbyn seeks referendum to reunite people

29th Nov 2019
Corbyn seeks referendum to reunite people

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn & Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi
(Credit: The Muslim News)

Hamed Chapman

On Brexit policy, Labour has made it clear that it wants to bring people and communities together by holding a second referendum, says Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Within three months we will negotiate a credible and sensible leave agreement with the EU which would protect trade, jobs, customs union and dynamic protection of rights and that our rights could not fall below those of Europe,” Corbyn said.
“We would maintain full adherence to the European Court of Human Rights and call a referendum within six months,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi.

Corbyn emphasised that Labour wanted to keep a good relationship with Europe because half of Britain’s trade is with the European Union.
“If we leave the European Union with a no deal then that will mean a huge impact on jobs in north east of England, which is the only part of the country that has a surplus in trade, in West Midlands and south Wales,” he warned.

“Therefore, there has to be dynamic trade relations with the European Union and also there has to be an understanding of massive contribution made by those who have made their homes from commonwealth and non-commonwealth countries outside Europe,” the Labour Leader said.

“I am very concerned about the way in which families are split apart in an arbitrary way (not being able to bring) your partner and child in this country.”

Labour’s policy contrasts with the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson seeking to leaving the European Union as soon as possible in a deal that he had hoped to force through Parliament without much scrutiny by the end of November.

The Liberal Democrats have also hardened their position in wanting to stop Brexit altogether. In his interview, Corbyn told the paper that with regard to the discredited

Prevent Extremism strategy, he would “look at the process of inclusion, understanding and education” rather than the programme itself, which he said had unfortunate side effects, “such as the way in which young Muslims in schools feel unfairly targeted.”

“The way in which the Prevent strategy has worked has been to target the Muslim community rather than any other. The issues have to be about preventing far right racism, any kind of extremism, any kind of violent activities within our society from wherever they might come from.”

The Labour Leader said he would take a different approach to the Government in reviewing Prevent. Rather than re-appointing Lord Carlile, Labour would have an “immediate very objective review.” Both of party’s Shadow Home Secretaries Andy Burnham and Dianne Abbott have also called for the strategy to be changed.
Questioned about the scourge of Islamophobia, he said that hate crime was “vile and vicious whoever it is against in our society.”

He recalled that Makram Ali was “killed just outside my house” near Finsbury Park when someone from the far right drove his van into a crowd of worshippers coming home from prayers from Muslim Welfare House in Ramadan and injured many.
“That was a hate crime,” Corbyn said.

Unlike the Tories, Corbyn said that Labour had unanimously adopted a definition of Islamophobia suggested by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, British Muslims as well as anti-Semitism and would do the same in Government.

Tory Government has given a meagre £2 million to be spent on all religious institutions, excluding the Synagogues which receives £14 million annually. Corbyn said his Government “will spend what is necessary. But it is also about education process and understanding of diversity of faith amongst our young people. It is important to bring people to understand tenant of each other’s faith. We should always make sure all our faiths are respectful of all other faiths as well.”

On foreign policy, he suggested that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories had to end, including its policy of illegal settlements. “There has to be full diplomatic recognition of Palestine which we will do as a government. Without that there is never going to be prospect for long-term peace.”

Regarding imposing sanctions, he said that a Labour government would “not allow importation of settlement goods” while imposing sanctions against arms sale to Israel. “You cannot keep Gaza encircled and the West Bank under occupation. There has to be an end of settlement policy.”

The conflict in Kashmir, the Labour Leader also said, had been an issue that has gone on since the 1940s. He said he would urge India and Pakistan to resume talks and “obviously ensure human rights are protected of all the people of Kashmir,” when asked what action would Labour take on Indian clampdown of Kashmiri people.

Asked why Muslims vote for the Labour Party, he said that it would help to “develop a fairer and better society and bring in national education service which would fund all our schools all over the country. The diversity of our multi-faith and multi-cultural society was something to be Proud of and could learn from each other. “I am very proud to work with mosques and Islamic centres to bring that about. I would like to live in a society where we genuinely respect each other’s faiths.”

“I hope after the General Elections gives us a chance to invest in all parts of our country so that we can build more houses that and provide health that is need and the investment that is needed.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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