April 26, 2016 /

Last night anti-racism campaigners from across London congregated outside of Downing Street to stage a protest against the way the two leading candidates in the London Mayoral Election race have continuously attempted to vilify the Muslim community as a way of gaining votes and scoring political points.

As the day that Londoners will elect a new Mayor fast approaches, Labour’s Sadiq Khan and the Conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith have chosen to use inflammatory, Islamophobic rhetoric in order to advance their own political careers.

Muslim candidate Sadiq Khan has repeatedly used media interviews as an opportunity to distance himself from the Muslim community and to suggest that Muslims are not fully integrated with British society. Meanwhile Zac Goldsmith has persistently played on Khan’s identity as a British Muslim by making various attempts to link him to Islamic extremism.

The protest was called by Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop The War Coalition and The Muslim Association of Britain. Protesters held up placards which read “Say No To Islamophobia” and “Say No To Scapegoating Muslims” While other protesters dressed as Politicians took turns in punching a ‘Muslim Punchbag.’

“We used a punchbag to symbolise the way that politicians have taken hit after hit upon the Muslim community as a cheap and easy way of gaining votes” said Ismail Patel of Friends of Al Aqsa.

“The protest was an opportunity for people from all corners of London to come together with one united voice and let the Conservatives and the Labour Party know that Islamophobia and the use of dirty, underhand tactics have no place within the London Mayoral Elections.” He added.