11 June 2012
Britain is still appalled with George Galloway’s unexpected victory over the Labour party in the Bradford by-election. The Labour party’s reliance on the biraderi system according to which gaining support of the tribal leaders would secure the support of the rest of the community cost a humiliating defeat in the by-election. Further, the by-election has also shown that the old system is outdated and elders alliances no longer binding for the youth and women.
In her article, Irna Qureshi reflects upon Labour leader Ed Miliband’s visit to Bradford in a quest to understand what went wrong in the by-elections and re-establish relations with the different sectors of the Muslim community instead of only interacting with the elders. She also points out how the dynamics of the Muslim community have changed and women are becoming increasingly active in the decision making process.