Every Friday for the past month, a growing army of volunteers representing the major political parties has gathered outside the mosque to canvas worshippers leaving the Friday mosque. The first week I suggested to a friend that we should do as Jesus is reported to have done in the Christian gospels, when he turned the money lenders out of the temple. The following week I grumpily barked, “No!” at a Conservative volunteer when he tried to thrust a leaflet into my hands, but somehow ended up with one from the Liberal Democrats, who for this demographic have decided to focus on a solution for Kashmir, rather than bang on too much about repealing Article 50.
I find their canvassing in this manner distasteful. On my return from Friday prayer today, I messaged my Christian relatives to ask them: do you have armies of party volunteers gathering outside church on Sunday mornings, petitioning the leaving worshippers to vote for them? One responded with humour: the Church of England is known as the Conservative Party at prayer, so everyone knows how they will vote! Amusing, but I am almost certain that the political parties do not wait outside our local Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches on Sunday morning to remind the faithful to vote this coming Thursday. If they did, they’d probably be bopped on the nose with a scone.
Am I wrong for wanting to drive these canvassers away every Friday, when they approach me with big grins on their faces, saying, “We can count on your vote, can’t we?” This time around, they can’t count on me for anything.