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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April 2005, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
UK voters' panel: Ayub Khan

MEET THE PANEL
Ayub Khan
Name: Ayub Khan
Age: 45
Lives: Batley, West Yorkshire
Works: Highways enforcement officer
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Hard working, fair minded, family orientated, proud British Asian Muslim"

I, like most British Asian Muslims, have always voted Labour in the past, because their policies largely suited us.

However since 9/11, as a community we have been subjected to a lot of unfair criticism perpetrated by Labour as a result of their stance on immigration and terrorism.

Mr Blair is no longer trusted by the community and I for one will not vote for his party this time.

I think Labour has completely messed up on these issues and it is the Muslim community who are paying the price.

The only time I will reconsider voting Labour is if Tony Blair is replaced by Gordon Brown.

The Liberal Democrats' policies are mostly suited to my way of thinking.

VOTERS' PANEL INTRODUCTIONS
However, unless they can demonstrate that they can realistically challenge the other two parties, I think that voting for them will be just a wasted vote.

The Conservatives' policies in my mind are too right wing for me to vote for them.

However, if it means getting rid of Labour then I may cast my vote for them.

I am going to wait until nearer the election to decide who I vote for.

When I have heard what each party is offering on the issues that affect me such as crime, immigration, terrorism, and health, I will be closer to making a decision.


Your comments:

How can a Prime Minster be trusted when all public debate is based on spin? How can politicians be trusted to make just and fair laws when they actually believe their own spin? In many ways the best hope for the country is if Labour wins a majority by 1 to 10 seats, quickly followed by a Brown succession.
Michael Shaw, Sheffield, UK

Chris Bird - Those people are probably just like myself, they come from a Muslim background and are therefore labelled as Muslims as if it were a race but don't follow the religion particularly well. I think Respect is the only choice for working people, as well as middle class Muslims. It seems to be the only party to clearly say that they are not afraid to defend Muslim communities.
Hanif, Newcastle

Seems to me you should vote Lib Dem by conviction. It is a myth created by Labour and the Tories that a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote. Of course shallow-minded people will vote Labour or Tory believing this.
Chris, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

I clearly agree with Ayub politically. I also think that Tony Blair is no longer trusted, an in my view Ayub is making a stand against the hatred and sufferings British Muslims have experienced. Blair made a completely wrong decision on the war in Iraq and now it is Muslims in Britain who are suffering. Anyway good luck Ayub!
Ismail, Batley

In reply to Keith Barrow. It annoys me that many people make out all Muslims sing from the same book. I know many Muslims who drink, have watched pornography and do not support single faith schools. Not all Muslims follow the strict Muslim code.
Chris Bird, Staffs

The majority of Muslims see themselves as being targeted in the world today. No matter who you are you are seen "differently" and government policies made by the elite do not seem to approach problems in a manner that they could be tackled. Now every Muslim in Britain is thinking he could be house arrested under the terrorism Act - and that Act does not require any proof or evidence to arrest you for a crime you are "ASSUMED" to have committed.
S Aziz, Bradford

Ayub - don't vote Tory! If you don't like Tony Blair's policies, you'll completely hate Michael Howard's.
Larry, Leeds

Its a shame Keith Barrow stereotypes Asian Muslims by assuming they all support faith schools, but even more of an error in purporting that the Lib Dems aim to close them! Perhaps we should be better informed...
Mandeep Singh, Blackburn, UK

I think Mr Khans indecision sums up the embarrassed confusion of the Islamic sub-culture. Blair can be heavily criticised for the Iraq issue, but the perception that it is anti Islam is just wrong. 9/11 was an attack on western culture. Its perpetrators twist and abuse Islamic beliefs and one of their aims was to bring this sort of reaction from western Moslems. Change your vote by all means, but on policy issues not on the basis of paranoia.
Alex, London UK

More and more people are realising that they are liberals. We should be proud of this and vote with our convictions. Every vote for the liberals shows that yet another person believes in them, that is the way to change the perception that they cannot win.
Chris G, Cambridge UK

It seems to me that the conservative party's views are more compatible with much of Asian society than is usually made out. For example, the emphasis on family, morality and on those who work hard.
Anon, St Andrews, Scotland

So you're going to vote right-wing pro-Iraq war Conservative to get rid of the Labour Party who you think are too right-wing? What sort of logic is that? Would you then vote BNP to get rid of the Tories?
Chris Smillie No, Edinburgh

You should vote by conviction. I remember a poll taken a long time ago where a majority said they would vote Liberal (before the changed name) if they thought they had a chance. What a strange bunch of people we are.
Phil, Herts, UK

Ayub's voting intentions are very sensible. They show that he is considering important issues rather than sticking with one party for political dogma reasons. I share his views on the Lib Dems and believe that they will get in the way of ousting Blair and calling him to account. Like Ayub, I am considering voting Tory in order to remove New Labour. Negative, perhaps, but essential in my view.
Ken, England, UK

I think that it is a misconception that Labour has targeted the Muslims. Out of all the parties Labour have the best balance of equality.
Kaka Singh, Glasgow, Scotland

I find it hard to understand how Mr Khan can say that Lib Dems' policies are close to his way of thinking. How can a Muslim support shutting down all faith schools, allowing 16-year-olds to buy pornographic publications and legalising prostitution to name just three of their policies.
Keith Barrow, Oswestry





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