Your MP is your representative in the national parliament and it is his/her responsibility to ensure that the views of his/her constituents are conveyed and publicised in that assembly both through speaking on the floor of the House and by voting on motions and laws put before the House. Your MP bears the duty of representing your views and executing these through his/her voting patterns in the legislature.
You can check the voting record of your MP at: www.publicwhip.org.uk. The website lists MP voting records and is searchable by MP or by subject matter.
Where you feel your MP has not satisfactorily represented your views, write to him/her and ask for a written response on why s/he voted the way s/he did.
You can also visit your MP in his/her constituency office during surgery hours and discuss in person any concerns or objections you have regarding their voting or speaking record.
Where your concerns are matched by others in your constituency, or your ward, organise a meeting and invite your MP or councillors to listen to you and your fellow residents. Your MP and councillors, by having a better idea of how strongly you feel about a subject, will be in a better positon to represent you.
MPs and councillors are your representatives in local and national government. Help them represent you better by regularly informing them of your views.
There have been a number of laws recently passed which have had some significant impact on the British Muslim community. These include legislation on extending the period in which individuals can be detained without charge from 28 to 90, 60 and 42 days; incitement to religious hatred legislation; the expansion of powers of stop and search by the police and the motions debated and passed by Parliament committing British troops to an invasion of Iraq.
You can read below some of the motions presented to the House and the voting records of MPs relating to these. Did you MP vote in accordance with your wishes? Did you challenge him/her on it if not?
In November 2002, MPs voted on whether or not a second resolution from the United Nations, one expressly mandating any offensive against Iraq, was required. This motion was rejected leaving the way open for the Government to pursue a strategy against Iraq without authorization from the UN.
Those MPs that voted ‘no’ were voting against the necessity of a further resolution from the UN before the British government could contemplate war in Iraq.