Sadiq Khan, newly elected mayor of London, England, its capital and largest city, is a Muslim. In life Khan has transcended many difficulties, hate speech, fear mongering, and an exorbitant dose of Islamophobia. He grew up with hardworking parents who were Pakistani immigrants: his father was a bus driver and his mother a seamstress, who raised their children in Britain in an effort to provide them opportunities at having a better life. Khan became a Human Rights lawyer and advocated for those who needed help the most. He became a Member of Parliament in South London eleven years ago and became the first Muslim British Cabinet member in 2009. He won the majority vote of Londoners and at forty-five years of age will serve a city of 8.5 million residents, and oversee an annual budget of $23 million. His commitment to his faith, hard work, ethics and love for his country has catapulted him to fame globally, irrespective of his Muslim identity.
Khan’s run against Zac Goldsmith and the Conservative Party he represents was nothing less than a modern day gladiator fight with the entire world present at the arena. Goldsmith, millionaire and former Editor for The Ecologist magazine, journalist and avid environmentalist, did not fall back on his experience and expertise; rather, his team was intent on portraying Khan as a Muslim extremist (similar to the tactics of Republicans in recent and current U.S. elections desiring of creating a following through hatred and fear).
The British Conservative Party’s loss to Khan’s Labor Party was front page news. Jemima Goldsmith, the sister of Zac Goldsmith, stated on her Twitter account, “Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be.” Her words indicated that she expected more from her brother than to portray himself to be an Islam and Muslim hater as he did in his campaign against Sadiq Khan. Ms. Goldsmith’s comment was relative because she is a convert to Islam. Of course, inquiring minds would be naturally interested in her brother’s characterization of his political opponent, a Muslim.
The United Kingdom and the United States are both in a period of political transformation with open hatred to Islam and Muslims at its core. Muslim Americans are now waiting for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to be defeated. Sadiq Khan’s win in London has provided hope for Americans too, that are against the blame-game of innocent people for the purpose of political gain.
Sadiq Khan may be the mayor of London, but he is a modern day political example for the world. More specifically, he demonstrates how a public servant should conduct himself when their political aspirations are linked to the improvement of one’s society. That is, respect for others, campaigning on real issues such as employment and housing, and not resorting to negative campaigns against one’s opponents. Integrity and honor are not outdated characteristics without meaning and value. Thank you Sadiq Khan for demonstrating that fact.
Source: Islamic Post Editorial