Is the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan against India

Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World

«Mayor of all Londoners» - Muslim Sadiq Khan with difficult office

09.05.2016

His opponents wanted to move him to the extremist corner. But Sadiq Khan prevailed. For the first time a Muslim was sworn in as mayor of London - the city is making history. From Peer Meinert

"I will be a mayor for all Londoners," Sadiq Khan promised at his swearing-in. He wanted to create a "better London". The 45-year-old Labor politician was elected the first Muslim mayor of the metropolis by a large majority. On Saturday he was sworn in at the Anglican Southwark Cathedral in London.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn was absent from the swearing-in ceremony. His party suffered losses in regional and local elections, especially in Scotland. Khan had rather distanced himself from the party left Corbyn in the election campaign. The toughest challenges for the new mayor are likely to be the dizzying property prices and poor local transport.

"Sadiq Khan's victory is an exciting start in British politics," enthuses the left-liberal Guardian. Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, won 57 to 43 percent of the vote over his conservative rival Zac Goldsmith, the offspring of a very wealthy family.

The British broadcaster BBC speaks of the first Muslim mayor of a Western European metropolis. But Rotterdam, for example, has had a mayor of Islamic faith since 2008. Khan's electoral success is seen as a trump card in the ideological debate about the existence of a parallel Islamic society and the danger of Islamist violence.

The liberal press had cheered even before the polls took place. "Sadiq Khan as mayor would be the terrorists' worst nightmare," enthuses the Guardian. Khan is a picture-perfect politician that the Labor Party could not wish for better: The family comes from Pakistan, the father was a bus driver - the son made it to the top.

"That was not an election without controversy," said Khan, who is a lawyer, with a view to the evil hostility in the election campaign. But "hope triumphed over fear".

In the Conservative Party, too, after the election defeat, there was criticism of the attempt to bring Khan closer to Muslim extremists. This has "blown bridges," said Conservative Andrew Boff. "I don't want us to do that again." Shuja Shafi, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, also sharply criticized the Conservative election campaign.

Khan served as Secretary of Transportation under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. When he was sworn in as a privy councilor in Buckingham Palace, Khan took his oath not on a Bible but on a Koran. He described himself as a "British Muslim" and repeatedly assured him that he would fight against extremists. (dpa)