The Stoke Sentinel has published an article about Paul Nuttall’s plans to ‘win over Muslims’ to support him in the Stoke Central by-election that takes place later this month:
However, if the ‘copycat’ dress style of the Muslim pictured with him for the article jars a little, that’s because the man next to Mr Nuttall, Tariq Mahmood, isn’t a local Muslim – he’s a UKIP councillor and former parliamentary candidate for the neighbouring Stoke South constituency:
Nuttall being who he is, you can guarantee that if he could have found a Muslim from the mosque behind him willing to stand with him – or for that matter, any Muslim who happened to be passing – for the photo opportunity.
Instead, the only way he could have a brown face next to him in the picture was to use a UKIP official – and not even one from that constituency, since Mr Mahmood, according to his nomination papers for the 2015 General Election contest in Stoke South, doesn’t even live in another part of Stoke, but in neighbouring Newcastle under Lyme:
The Sentinel reports that Mr Mahmood claims 10-20% of local Muslims already vote UKIP. But then, the same reporter at the Sentinel also thought Mr Mahmood might cause an upset in Stoke South in 2015, asking:
To which the answer was a resounding ‘NO‘, as Labour won that seat with an increased vote share.
You have to wonder, if Mr Mahmood’s claim is true, why none of the 10-20% of UKIP-supporting Muslims were willing to be seen with him. Stoke has a Muslim population of 8,000 or more, of which a good number will be Stoke Central voters.
It might just be to do with the fact of Mr Nuttall’s evident history of Islamophobia, for example his call for a burqa ban, less than 3 months ago:
The fact that UKIP supporters are photoshopping Muslim women into pictures of the Labour candidate in an attempt to appeal to racists and an assumption that white people in Stoke would be turned against the Gareth Snell by seeing him with a Muslim woman is probably not helping Nuttall’s and Mahmood’s chances either:
Nuttall’s laughably transparent attempt to win over Muslims, when he and his party routinely disrespect them, suggests even more strongly that UKIP are getting negative feedback from their canvassing and are getting desperate. Appealing to Muslims is a move that certainly won’t play well with UKIP’s white-racist base, but presumably he’s betting on them still voting for him anyway.
This blog is confident that Stoke Central’s Muslims have far too much sense to be fooled, in any significant numbers, into voting for a party that treats Muslims – like it treats most of us – with contempt and like idiots.
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