Recognition of religious festivals, celebrating cultural events, security for faith institutions, safety for people on our streets and transport systems, and rejoicing in the value the faith groups bring to Britain. These are just some of the issues people from minority faith groups told me that they care about as British citizens. Regardless of what political party they support, people from minority groups vote on the same issues as everyone else but like all voters, they also have particular areas of concern.
Whilst everyone recognises the importance of our democracy, not everyone feels as heard and members of minority groups are at risk from feeling excluded from the process of government.
Our country is one of the most diverse in the world. We are lucky enough to benefit from the diverse, languages, foods, rituals and experiences of British people. Our community is made so much richer by this diversity of backgrounds, faith groups and cultures.
It sometimes seems pointless to vote and I’ve been told that people from minority groups can feel that as a small group, they won’t be heard. In reality, however, voting is one of the most effective ways to have a voice and the numbers speak for themselves. Voting is the way to ensure that specific needs are heard and also that people from diverse backgrounds are elected to speak out, loudly, for their constituents.
If you are not registered, you can’t vote, it’s that simple. Everyone has particular issues that matter to them and which they want to be heard by the people who run our country. The views and specific needs of our faith and minority groups matter and our voices need to be heard.