Sadiq Khan cannot get out of the news at the moment. The British Pakistani was announced as London Mayor on May 5th. The son of a Pakistani bus driver had gone from a council estate in Tooting through the ranks of Law and now has climbed to the pinnacle of politics in London. Unusually however it is not this that is winning him the front pages but his ongoing feud with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
It has all stemmed from Trump’s controversial comments about Muslims. He claimed to be considering banning all Muslim people from entering the USA until he could find out “what the hell was going on”. He is of course referring to global series of terrorist attacks. The comments led to widespread condemnation and event David Cameron the Prime Minister of the UK states the comments were ‘stupid, divisive and wrong’. Comments which he has refused to retract. Khan who has become a leader of European Muslims by becoming London mayor has not been afraid to go toe to toe with the Trump!
Khan pointed out that is the ban came in force he would be restricted from visiting fellow mayors in America and learning from them. Trump replied that of course there would be exceptions. Sadiq retorted that he does not want to be the exception while people like his family are discriminated against and called Trump ignorant. With the ball in his court Trump stumbled and challenged Khan to an IQ test, seemingly confused between ignorance and intelligence.
Sadiq Khan is turning his rivalry into great PR for himself but importantly for the Muslim community of London. On Good Morning Britain, a daily television show he through out an olive branch to the Donald. He said: ‘I invite Donald Trump to come to London: meet my wife and my daughters; meet my friends and my neighbours; meet Londoners… who are British, they are Londoners, they are Muslim. If I can educate the presumptive Republican presidential nominee about Islam, I’m happy to do so.’ I wouldn’t be so sure that would help though Sadiq. Trump does not have a great track record with demographics of people even after meeting them. His run in with Native Americans gaming businesses and his insults towards women show that it will take more than a quick cup of tea for Trump to understand his bigotry to the 1.6 billion Muslims.
Meanwhile Trump candidacy is slowly sinking in for people in the UK, politicians from the right and left are all together in condemning Trump and that has resulted in Trump claiming if he is President there will be a frosty relationship between the two nations.
British Politicians reactions to Donald Trump and his policies:
David Cameron: ‘I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong.
‘If he came to visit our country I think he would unite us all against him.’
Boris Johnson: ‘I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind if he thinks that’s a sensible way to proceed, to ban people going to the United States in that way, or to any country.
‘What he’s doing is playing the game of the terrorists and those who seek to divide us. That’s exactly the kind of reaction they hope to produce.
‘When Donald Trump says there are parts of London that are ‘no go’ areas, I think he’s betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States.
‘I would invite him to come and see the whole of London and take him round the city – except I wouldn’t want to expose any Londoners to any unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump.’
George Osborne: ‘Frankly, Trump’s comments fly in the face of the founding principle of the United States and is one of the reasons why they have provided such an inspiration.
‘The best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it very clear that his views are not welcome.’
Jeremy Corbyn: ‘If Donald Trump wants to come to Britain, absolutely fine, he can come and join me in Finsbury Park mosque.
‘And then he can come to the synagogue afterwards. We can have a chat there. We’d go around. We manage to have a coherent, multifaith, multicultural society in London, in Birmingham, in Leicester, all parts of this country.
‘He’s welcome to come and see. He might learn something.’