Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London … what now for Muslims?

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SHAFAQNA -With Sadiq Khan set to become the next Mayor of London, Muslims are not quire sure such development will actually play in their favour – at least as far as Islamophobia and radicalism are concerned.

Having a Muslim Mayor will not necessarily translate into greater tolerance on the ground.

“Whether Khan wins or loses, British Muslims see his reaching the status of front-runner in the race as a sign of their growing political clout in the former seat of one of the world’s great empires,” wrote the Voice of America.

I disagree … I disagree because Mr Khan’s Muslimness does not mean he speaks for British Muslims, and it certainly does not mean that the Muslim community agrees with his policies. While this might come as a shock to many, religion does not define one’s political sensibilities … Islam is not a political statement, it is a faith – a belief system.

Now, i will grant you that many Muslims did in fact vote for Khan out of sense of loyalty … or is that rather ethic loyalty, and not so much religious loyalty?

Mr Khan is the son of a Pakistani immigrant who came to the UK to offer his family a better life. A migrant success story, Mr Khan’s political base has always been anchored on his Asian lineage – today his political victory gives the Asian community a greater sense of validation … will it change anything on the ground? Difficult to say.

Mohammed Lalmiah, a retired restaurant owner, told VOA after voting Thursday that having Khan as mayor will make it easier to obtain building permits for more mosques and other institutions that serve the Muslim population. “This is a great opportunity for the Muslim people,” he said. “I’m grateful to be in England. You can get every opportunity here.”

Let me see …. NO! I don’t see how Mr Khan’s victory will automatically mean more Mosques and preferential treatments for the Muslim community. I would be as bold as to say that such a line a thinking actually plays into ethnic and religious nepotism.

What about having a Mayor of London who actually stands for the people of London … all of the people of London without falling into the pitfalls of racial and religious cliches?

There is another point to consider when discussing Mr Khan, and it is his friendships with unsavoury Islamist characters. While I found PM David Cameron’s allegations that Mr Khan was a radical by association for having shared a podium with a well-know Salafi radical, when he, himself, continues to spend an awful lot of time mingling with war criminals, and other psychopaths, the Premier did have a point – what are the nature of Mr Khan’s friendship with radicalism.

By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna

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