A London mosque has painted its dome in support of a politician running against Nigel Farage in South Thanet in Thursday’s general election, risking legal proceedings for contravening British laws which prohibit religious figures exerting ‘undue spiritual influence’ over elections.
The East-London Shacklewell Lane Mosque, which is also the headquarters of the UK Islamic Trust, was persuaded to to paint the dome mural by Reality party candidate Nigel Askew because of his hard-left views on Multiculturalism and Islamic faith. The Guardian reports Askew’s comments, where he explained he was able to diffuse tension with older, more conservative mosque goers by praying with them: “I went for Friday prayers and around 1,000 people were there, and they were a bit taken aback about the mural, especially some of the older members.
“But I understand that it is a bit outrageous and unheard of to paint a mosque like this. I prayed with them, and met them afterwards, and everyone agreed with the message”.
If the religious political message is investigated by the electoral commission, it could take precedent from the recent nullification of the mayoralty of political fraudster Lutfur Rahman, who was convicted of conspiring with Imams in East London to force Muslims into voting for him. The relevant law, which deals with ‘undue spiritual influence’ was introduced during the reign of Queen Victoria to deal with Catholic priests influencing the votes of Irish electors.
The Reality party is standing on a joint ticket with the Green party in South Thanet, campaigning on a platform of ‘ending fracking in Thanet’, promoting ‘multicultural society’, and nationalisation of assets. Nigel Askew, South Thanet pub landlord who decided to stand after comedy pub landlord Al Murray stood as a publicity device for his comedy tour lampooning Nigel Farage said of the mural: “South Thanet has been consumed with propaganda on immigration, spreading a message of fear and racial disharmony.
“I am honoured the Muslim community of Dalston are making this wonderful gesture. The Reality Party is about inclusiveness, with all people standing together for responsible prosperity, and against injustice.
“The gesture from the Shacklewell Lane Mosque is a wonderful gesture that Britain must celebrate its diversity”.
A Reality party spokesman told the Hackney Citizen they would have painted the message on a Mosque in South Thanet itself, except there aren’t any in the constituency. The charity commission has contacted the charity which runs the Mosque “urgently” to remove the mural, as it contravenes UK charity laws on political campaigning.
WATCH: Askew speaks from roof of East London Mosque