Sadiq Khan of the British Labour party has been elected as London’s first Muslim mayor, who outran his nearest rival with absolute ease.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Labour party, congratulated Khan on his victory on Friday evening.
Here is a list of five facts one must know about Sadiq Khan.
Religion Turned Into Issue
The religion of the Labour candidate Sadiq Khan for the city’s mayor wasn’t an issue in London. But it became an issue, only when his Conservative opponent Zac Goldsmith made it one.
He tried to relate his rival Khan to Islamist extremism in a campaign criticised as negative and racist.
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“But London has answered, and how! Karma came and bit your petty, Islamophobic Tory arses hard, didn’t it! Now sulk,” Sahana Bajpei, a singer, wrote on Facebook.
It was reported by several media outlets that Khan was voting in favour of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill.
In 2013 Khan claimed to have received death threats because of his support for the Same-Sex Marriage Bill. Sources from tabloids reported that the imam of a Bradford mosque issued a fatwa against the newly elected mayor.
In the Fatwa, the imam declared Khan to no longer be a Muslim. Afterwards police suggested him to review his security.
The Controversy of ‘Uncle Tom’
A recent footage surfaced, which shows Khan referring to moderate Muslims as “Uncle Toms.” It was during an interview with the state-backed Iranian channel Press TV in 2009, says USA Today.
In the interview, Khan was asked about reaching out to Muslims to fight extremism. While answering he said that one cannot just select and choose the person to talk to.
“You can’t just speak to Uncle Toms.” Khan said.
“You can’t just speak to people who say what you want them to hear.”
However, later Khan regretted and said he was wrong to use the phrase.
Reactions on Social Media
Difficulties surrounding Khan’s election were noticeable on social media, the moment it became clear he was the most likely candidate to win.
According to Al Jazeera, large number of social media users congratulated Khan. They were also proud of the UK’s diversity.
However, others bolstered and cried about the supposed Islamisation of the West. Many social media users had mockingly described what they saw as “xenophobic responses” to Khan’s mayorship.
His Practice of Islam
Sadiq Khan is a practicing Muslim, who doesn’t drink alcohol but visits pubs. He said that he would be protecting pubs from being closed.
Khan was married to fellow lawyer Saadiya Khan in 1994 and the couple have two daughters. He turned out to be the first Muslim member of parliament to be elected in London in 2005.
He wrote a book called “Fairness Not Favours – How to connect with British Muslims” in 2008.