This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Judging Londonistan

"The previously unthinkable has become the present reality. A Muslim man with way too many extremist links to be entirely coincidental is now the Mayor of London. I suppose this is hardly a shock, though. The native English are a demographic minority (and a rapidly dwindling one) in London, whilst Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh are a rapidly expanding demographic....."
"In a couple more decades Britain may well have its first Muslim Prime Minister, and I think we can safely assume he will be of the same ideological stock as Sadiq Khan.... Reality cannot argue with demographics, so the realistic future for Britain is Islamic."                                                                                          British politician Paul Weston
"Warsi must be listened to when she says, 'our response to [Gaza] is becoming a basis for radicalization that could have consequences for us for years to come' [...] The government's failure to criticise Israel's incursion is not just a moral failure — it goes directly against Britain's interests in the world and risks making our citizens less safe as a result."
"You know, there's nothing wrong, and I encourage people to protest, to demonstrate, to complain, to write into newspapers and TV, to, if you want to boycott certain goods, boycott certain goods — all lawful means open in a democratic society."
"Muslims across Europe will see the question for Turkish admission to the EU as a clear test of European inclusion. If the door is slammed shut it will be understood by 20 million Muslim citizens of the EU that the basis of the decision to treat Turkey differently to new members like Bulgaria or Romania has been made on the basis that Europe is a 'Christian Club.'"
"Some will see this as a clear indication that Muslims can never be a part of the story of Europe or the West. That will undermine everybody working to say that of course one can be British, European and Muslim, or French, European and Muslim."
"Mr. Farrakhan is not anti-Semitic and does not preach a message of racial hatred and antagonism." Khan Farrakhan is preaching a message of self-discipline, self-reliance, atonement and responsibility. He's trying to address the issues and problems we have in the UK, black on black crime and problems in the black community. It's outrageous and astonishing that the British Government is trying to exclude this man."
London's new mayor-elect Sadiq Khan

"To be clear, I have never suggested he [Khan] is an extremist but without a shadow of doubt he has given platform, oxygen and cover to people who are extremists."
"I think he is playing with fire. The questions are genuine, they are serious. They are about his willingness to share platforms with people who want to 'drown every Israeli Jew in the sea.'"
"It's about his having employed someone who believed the Lee Rigby murder was fabricated. It's about his career before being an MP, coaching people in how to sue the police."
"It just goes on and on and on. To pretend those are not legitimate questions, to pretend that by asking those questions newspapers, Londoners or my campaign are engaging in Islamophobia is unbelievably irresponsible."
"It is just obscene that somebody who wants to be the mayor of the world's greatest city, to be in charge of our police and security, should behave not only with such bad judgment but in a way that is totally shameless."                Conservative Party politician Zac Goldsmith
A former human rights lawyer, member of Parliament, coming from a humble background, in a sense Sadiq Khan reflects the electoral success of another visible minority candidate, another lawyer who was a community organizer, and who became a Nobel Laureate after he assumed the presidency of the United States of America. Barack Obama's powerful position in Washington certainly changed the world in many ways, and not always for the good, though he prides himself on accomplishing just that.

Mayor of London is not, admittedly, quite comparison-wise to being president of the United States, but not can it be compared to being the mayor of Washington. Different nation, different standards of influence and power. And, as someone concerned over the vision of a Muslim born of Pakistani immigrants, the London mayoralty could represent a convenient stepping-off point toward a run for the position of prime minister of Great Britain.

Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan Credit: PA/Nigel French

Certainly the current leader of the Labour Party of which Sadiq Khan is a proud member could never aspire to become the political leader of the UK. As much controversy that swirls about Mr. Khan, much more of a like, and hugely problematical matter, clings to Jeremy Corbyn. Sadiq Khan had the intelligence, at the very least, to criticize some of the statements made by Labour's new leader, not the least of which would be his regard of Hamas and Hezbollah as 'friends'.

Yet Mr. Khan's 'friends' in the sense of his having represented them voluntarily and passionately as a  human rights lawyer, are almost equally repugnant for their views and orientations. Moreover, his choice to stand alongside virulently anti-Semitic and obviously Islamist characters in the past, sharing a pulpit to address the public, leave a bad taste in the apprehension of those attempting to understand the man's judgement.

That Mr. Khan won the hotly contested election is a testament to how charged the political climate is, and how transformed the face of British society has become, a polarized society, one that has seen its traditions hugely diluted. With a threat of homegrown violence re-visiting at any potential time on a scale that would at least rival the horrendous subway and bus bombing attacks of July 2005. The banlieus of Paris do have their counterparts in the Muslim ghettoes of the UK. The incendiary Friday night sermons inciting Muslims to jihad are fairly universal.

Sadiq Khan during the signing ceremony to become the new Mayor of London Credit: PA/Yui Mok
What kind of mayor to all the people of London this obviously politically skilled and intelligent man will be is yet to be seen. London's mayors tend to be controversial personalities. Some like outgoing Boris Johnson appealingly so, others like his predecessor incontrovertibly less so. How Sadiq Khan, new mayor of the City of London will be viewed will be up to him to demonstrate.

He won 1.3-million votes, which an astute observer mentioned was roughly analogous to the number of Muslims living in London.

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