Londoners elect first new Muslim mayor

Sadiq Khan, Labour Party candidate, speaks on the podium after hearing the results of the London mayoral elections, at City Hall in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Sadiq Khan, Labour Party candidate, speaks on the podium after hearing the results of the London mayoral elections, at City Hall in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

BY HASHAM NUSRAT

CURRENT AFFAIRS EDITOR

Sadiq Khan, former member of parliament from Tooting, a district in South London, has been officially announced as the first Muslim mayor of a major western city, defeating Zac Goldsmith of the conservative party. His victory has earned him the largest mandate in United Kingdom’s history. He won by 1,310,143 votes to 999,614 of his opponent Zac Goldsmith.

Born to a son of a Pakistani bus driver and growing up in public housing in South London, nothing came between him and success. In a short span of 10 years, he succeeded as a member of parliament to the key roles of leading campaign manager of labor in London to its former leader of the opposition Ed Miliband’s campaign manager. Political pundits believe that as of current he has emerged as one of the strongest people in his respective party, and he might come as Labor’s PM nominee in later years.

Upon his historical victory, Khan said, “I want all Londoners to have the same opportunities that our city gave me: a home they can afford, a high-skilled job with decent pay, an affordable and modern transport system, and a safe, clean and healthy environment.”

A lot of people have seen criticizing conservative’s mayoral campaign against Sadiq Khan. According to BBC political correspondent Chris Mason, “questions we’re now focusing on the tone of the Conservative mayoral campaign, which was criticized by some within the party and Labour for accusing Sadiq Khan of sharing a platform with Islamic extremists.”

In a Twitter interaction with the public, Zac’s sister, Jemima Khan Goldsmith, has criticized how her brother’s campaign was run while Conservative’s former cabinet minister and senior leader, Sayeeda Warsi, called it an “appalling dog whistle campaign.”

Jemima further said, “Zac’s campaign didn’t reflect who I know him to be, an eco-friendly independent-minded politician with integrity. ” She also congratulated the new mayor of London.  In another Twitter response, presidential hopeful, Hilliary Clinton, congratulated Sadiq Khan on his victory.

George Eaton, political editor of the New Statesman, one of the old British political and cultural magazines, observed that, “Khan will be a figure of global significance. His election is a rebuke to extremists of all stripes, from Donald Trump to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who assert that religions cannot peacefully coexist.” Sadiq Khan described his victory as hope over fear and unity over division.

 

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