A petition claiming that Muslims are taking over Britain will now actually be discussed in Parliament next month after it received a terrifying 183,000 signatures.
The Government promised in 2010 that any petition signed by more than 100,000 people would be eligible for a debate, and the policy has resulted in issues such as dropping the Health Bill, full disclosure of the Hillsborough documents and the potential legalisation of cannabis being (or soon to be) brought before the House of Commons.
However, this latest debate shows the darker, more ignorant side of e-Petitions, with hundreds of thousands of people in the UK signing the petition, which also claims ‘foreign citizens are taking all our benefits’.
The petition, titled ‘Stop allowing immigrants into the UK’, states:
The UK government need to prevent immigrants from entering the UK immediately! We MUST close all borders, and prevent more immigrants from entering Britain. Foreign citizens are taking all our benefits, costing the government millions! Many of them are trying to change UK into a Muslim country!
If the Government does not do anything, then Britain may take in 12 million more immigrants by 2060. There is footage of foreigners destroying British soldiers graves, which is a huge disrespect to us. Sign this petition to show the government what they need to do!
Politicians have agreed to debate the issue in Parliament on October 19 but, with the so-called ‘facts’ of the petition sketchy at best, there are a number of MPs unhappy with the decision.Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Labour MP Steve McCabe said:
I’m in favour of discussing immigration but I don’t think we should dignify the views of total bigots with a Commons debate. This highlights the problem with saying that if you have enough signatures on a petition then it will be debated. It is a licence for bigotry, and that is what we are witnessing here.
The debate will take place in Westminster Hall, a debating chamber of the Commons which is less well-known than the famous main chamber.
Sadly, given the rise of less-than-truthful Britain First memes which do the rounds on Facebook, not to mention the small but persistent presence of far-right anti-immigration parties like UKIP and the BNP, something like this being brought before parliament does have a horrible air of inevitability about it. Please stop believing every nefarious comment you read on social media, guys and gals!