During his visit to London in March 2015 Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin gave an audience to Labour’s then Shadow Justice Minister (now newly elected London Mayor) Mr Sadiq Khan at Al-Masjid al-Husaini, the Dawoodi Bohra masjid in Northolt, north-west London.The BBC report of Mr Khan’s visit – which took place during the UK’s general elections – can be found here.
For one young Bohra Labour party activist, Abduttayyeb Hassanali, the visit and this year’s London Mayoral campaign have been highlights of a growing career in party politics. His political interest has been apparent from a young age and was expressed at the University of London where he was an active student union member.
This has translated into political activism at a national level and Abduttayyeb was a busy figure during Mr Khan’s visit to the masjid in 2015. His work with Mr Khan continued this year in Mr Khan’s triumphant campaign to be elected Mayor of London.
On 5th May 2016, Mr Sadiq Khan, Labour’s MP for Tooting and of Pakistani heritage, was elected Mayor of London.
Abduttayyeb writes; “The biggest city – the one they call the financial capital of the world – has elected its first ever Muslim Mayor. This is a significant day, not just in London’s history, but for the hopes of young people in the country who have so much to give to society but feel not enough doors are opening for them.
Bohras today live in a world that is changing every day, where keeping up becomes a challenge itself, where cynicism can be given its own platform. I was part of a campaign that signified hope over fear. Being involved in politics at any level – from knocking on doors or delivering speeches to thousands, or even using your right to democracy by voting gives that person their own platform to transform ideas. Speaking to one person is the beginning of implanting an idea or changing a viewpoint. It’s the same thing that got me involved and it’s the same thing that keeps me going.”
Abduttayyeb was one of the youngest members of the Labour Party (UK) and has worked as a Government Advisor in Parliament.In his current capacity he is a London Constituency Labour Party Youth Officer and Executive Committee Member.
He was especially pleased to have worked as part of Mr Khan’s Campaign Team to encourage voters in London during the 2016 Mayoral Elections. During the run-up to the election he mapped out target campaign areas, delivered speeches, produced Labour Party material and media, organised canvassing activities, attended fundraising events and encouraged young voters who turned out more than ever before.
“Taking an active interest in politics, at whatever stage, is nothing special – I don’t think it is anyway – but it helps put my views and the things that I think that are right or wrong in the limelight. It is a learning process by which one is challenged every day. And as long as I can help even one person through this, I’ll never give it up.”