What I Hope U.S. Voters Learn From London’s New Muslim Mayor 

Last week, as the U.S. news cycle was filled with racist and Islamophobic talk spewed by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, Londoners elected Sadiq Khan — the Muslim son of a Pakistani immigrant — as mayor, bridging deeply carved racial tensions in the city.

Now, Khan, who was sworn in May 7th, says that he would welcome Donald Trump to come to England to learn about Islam.

“I want to educate Donald Trump. I want to show him that you can be Muslim and be Western," Khan told NBC. “I think Donald Trump and the people who advise him have an ignorant view of Islam… I want Donald Trump to come to London so I can introduce myself to him as a mainstream Muslim, very, very comfortable with Western liberal values, but also introduce him to hundreds of thousands, dare I say millions of Muslims in this country, who love being British, love being Western."

Khan is the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city, an achievement that did not come without its own controversy. During the election, Khan was accused by his opponent of supporting extremism. However, he appealed to the majority of London voters – Muslim and not – winning nearly 57% of the vote.

"This election was not without controversy, and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division," Khan said after his swearing in.

Although it shouldn’t be a big deal that London elected a Muslim (it shouldn’t be something that is lauded as brave or groundbreaking, since a person's religion should not affect their political standing), in our current political climate, it is. While the U.S. has a mainstream presidential candidate calling for a ban on Muslims in the United States, residents of London have chosen to look past a candidate’s differences and find the common ground in electing a leader for their city.

Khan emphasized that he — not extremists — represents the ideology of most Muslims.

As Khan said after his swearing in, "politics of fear is not welcome in our city."

It isn’t welcome in my country, either.

“What is important it that I am not treated as some exceptional case,” Khan told NBC.

Instead, he urged Donald Trump and the rest of Americans to reject the “Us vs. Them” view of Muslims and the West.

“What I would like to see is that decent Muslims from around the world are able to go to America and that Donald Trump doesn’t play into the hands of extremists that say that is not possible to be Western and Muslim, that there is some clash of civilizations,” Khan said.

Hopefully Americans can learn from Londoners, who chose to move beyond divisive, hate-filled politics motivated by fear.

As Khan said after his swearing in, "politics of fear is not welcome in our city."

It isn’t welcome in my country, either. And when it comes to Donald Trump, Khan, once again, spoke perfectly:

“I hope the Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton, trounces him.”

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!