After a rigorous campaign, Sadiq Khan, the primary candidate for the UK’s Labour Party, made history on Friday as the first Muslim mayor of London. But the new mayor, who has promised to be a “leader for all”, may be hiding some rather disturbing skeletons in his proverbial closet.
Khan’s strong political background notwithstanding, countless concerns have come to light regarding his connections to Islamic extremism and his history defending terrorist activities. Polling has revealed people are sincerely worried over Khan’s new position, which will now give him unlimited cash access and powerful responsibilities, due to his shady history. In fact, Politics.co reported at least 31 percent of Londoners are “uncomfortable” with the idea of a Muslim mayor, despite their overall reputation as largely tolerant of other cultures.
Their concern is not entirely unwarranted; Khan’s record regarding involvement in extremist ideologies is far from clean. Prior to his campaign, the new mayor made strong statements emphasizing his Islamic ties, which he hoped would incite voters to elect him. Purportedly, Khan’s desire in making such statements were to highlight the advantage of having a fellow Muslim in power as a means to negotiate with radical Islamic activists. He even promised to be “the British Muslim who takes the fight to the extremists.”
The majority of concerns stem not from any outright extremist activities, but from his defense of them. Following 9/11, the then-lawyer joined the defense team protecting one of the masterminds behind the horrific terrorist attacks, Zacharias Moussaoui, who later confessed to being a member of Al Qaeda.
Furthermore, Khan defending known Islamic extremist Azzam Tamimi. When Dr. Tamimi told a crowd that publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad would “cause the world to tremble” and predicted “Fire…throughout the world if they don’t stop,” Khan dismissed the threats as “flowery language.”
Khan’s direct opponent in the recent race, Zac Goldsmith, joined the battle to reveal the mayor’s ties to Islamic extremism by citing his questionable past. Goldsmith accused Khan of “giving platform, oxygen, and cover to extremists.” Goldsmith made several claims against Khan, highlighting his support for radical Islam as well as helping citizens find ways around the law. He cited the chapter Khan wrote in a book entitled “Actions Against the Police,” in which the mayor details how to sue the police for “racism”.
Further criticizing the Labour Party candidate, Goldsmith also drew attention to Khan’s ties with Suliman Gani, a south London imam who has urged female subservience to men, condemned homosexuality, gay marriage, organ transplants, and called for the founding of an Islamic state, according to the Middle East Forum. “To share a platform nine times with Suliman Gani, one of the most repellent figures in this country, you don’t do it by accident,” Goldsmith said.
Though many continue to question Khan’s position regarding Islamic extremism, the mayor was greeted with a standing ovation at the official signing ceremony on Friday. The multi-denominational ceremony was attended by London’s police chief, Christian and Jewish leaders, and stars of stage and screen, The Times of Israel reported.
At the ceremony, Khan emphasized his appreciation for his new position, stating, “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 a mayor for Londoners.”