Pakistani Origin Sadiq Khan Sworn In As London's First Muslim Mayor!
27 April 2016
By Dr. Abdul Ruff
A Pakistani origin Sadiq Khan was sworn in as London mayor On May 07 after
being elected the first Muslim leader of a major Western capital, as the
Conservatives defended attempts to link him to extremism during the campaign.
The Conservatives who rule Great Britain have badly failed to get Sadiq linked
to ISIS or Al-Qaeda or Taliban, etc, as people of London city reposed full
faith in this Muslim and son of a Pakistani bus driver.
Khan won 57 percent of the vote in Thursday`s mayoral election, securing 1.3
million votes to see off multimillionaire Conservative Zac Goldsmith and make
history as the city`s first Muslim mayor.
In his victory speech in the early hours of Saturday morning, Khan had
referenced the negative campaign against him by saying London had chosen
''unity over division'' and truth defeated falsehood.
The opposition Labour lawmaker Sadiq Khan broke from convention by taking his
oath of office in a multi-faith ceremony at Southwark Cathedral. ''My name is
Sadiq Khan and I`m the mayor of London,'' the 45-year-old said to cheers from
supporters, who had earlier given him a standing ovation as he walked in. He
added: ''I`m determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible
administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community,
and every single part of our city, as mayor for all Londoners.''
Sadiq Khan won the Mayoral position as Conservative Prime Minister David
Cameron had led the attacks against Khan for sharing platforms with radical
Muslims at public events, and Goldsmith said he was ''radical and divisive''.
There was criticism from across the political spectrum on Saturday at the tone
of the Tory campaign, but Defence Secretary Michael Fallon insisted it was
legitimate. ''Both candidates were asked questions about their backgrounds,
their personalities, their judgment, the people they associate with,'' he told
BBC radio. ''That`s the nature of our democracy and the rough-and-tumble of
politics.''News of the win was applauded in Pakistan, with Bilawal Bhutto,
leader of the opposition Pakistan People`s Party and son of former prime
minister Benazir Bhutto, and rival opposition leader Imran Khan tweeting
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was looking to working with his ''fellow
affordable-housing advocate'' while Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted that
Khan`s ''humanity (and) progressivism will benefit Londoners''.
Former Conservative government minister Sayeeda Warsi also offered her
congratulations ''from this daughter of a Pakistani bus driver to the son of a
Pakistani bus driver'', and also condemned her party`s campaign. ''Our
appalling dog-whistle campaign lost us the election, our reputation and
credibility on issues of race and religion,'' she said.
Khan admitted representing some ''pretty unsavoury characters'' during his
previous job as a human rights lawyer but said their views were ''abhorrent''
and condemned the Conservatives` ''desperate'' attacks.
Goldsmith`s sister Jemima, the ex-wife of Pakistani cricketer and politician
Imran Khan, said the tone of her brother`s campaign ''did not reflect who I
know him to be''. Cameron`s former adviser, Steve Hilton, said Goldsmith had
brought back the ''nasty party label''.
In the audience at Southwark Cathedral was Doreen Lawrence, an anti-racism
campaigner whose teenage son Stephen was killed by a gang of white youths. ''I
never imagined in my lifetime I could have a mayor of London from an ethnic
minority,'' she said.
Khan has broken the eight-year hold of the Conservatives on City Hall,
succeeding the charismatic Boris Johnson in a prestigious post that has
responsibility for transport, housing, policing and promoting economic
Sadiq Khan's success was a boost for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran
socialist who has been battling a row over anti-Semitism and growing criticism
from the moderate wing of his party since his election in September. But
Labour fared less well in other regional elections on Thursday. The party was
beaten into third place in Scotland, once a Labour stronghold, as the
Conservatives became the official opposition to the Scottish National Party (SNP),
which won a third term in office.
Labour maintained control of the Welsh assembly and lost only a handful of
local council seats in England. But critics warned it should have done better
against a government that has lost support over welfare reforms and is deeply
divided ahead of the referendum on Britain`s membership of the EU on June 23.