The Election of Sadiq Khan and Donald Trump
In a rebuke to Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, Londoners are telling the world that bigotry has no place in the modern world. Indeed, the election of Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, is a strong signal that there is no place for bigotry in today’s global culture.
It is not the first time a Muslim Mayor has been elected to head a European city. Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan Dutchman and the son of an Imam from the poor and neglected Rif region of northern Morocco, has been the mayor of Rotterdam since January 5, 2009.
Both Aboutaleb and Khan probably would not have assumed such important offices in their respective Muslim countries because they are from poor family’s and do not have the means to buy political patrons and votes to get elected to prestigious positions.
This does not mean that the British are telling the Americans what to do in politics, but they are just reminding the world that the democratic forces of the world ought to resist and fight recurrent spates of nativism, xenophobia and hatred.
Indeed, the message is loud and clear to everyone in today’s world, there is no place for Donald Trump and his message of hate and denial, as much as there is no place for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram groups which preach violence, radicalism and terror.
For Parveen Akhtar, the election of Sadiq Khan has no religious, or cultural coloration, it is a question of sheer merit: “For many, this is a triumph of meritocracy over privilege – a sign that the political establishment is becoming more inclusive and representative of the ethnic, religious and socioeconomic diversity of the wider population. And Khan is not the only second-generation Pakistani to have entered high political office in the UK. Sajid Javid, the current secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, is the son of a Pakistani immigrant who worked in the mills of the north before becoming a bus driver. So too did the father of Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who rose to become a member of David Cameron’s cabinet, and was the first Muslim woman to sit at the highest table in the land. In the 2015 general election alone, ten individuals of Pakistani heritage were elected to the British parliament.”
If social media is a thermometer of the health of a given group of people, the Republican Party is sick and running a high fever. Indeed, many sympathizers of this great and traditional American political party that was behind, once upon a time, the abolishment of slavery under the guidance of Abraham Lincoln, are rejecting Donald Trump by twitting: “I am not a Republican anymore. I am with her…”
For Sean Illing, the GOP is determined, at long last, to derail Donald Trump, come what may: “There are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Although not necessarily in that order, the Republican Party has passed through most of these stages as Donald Trump has bulldozed his way through the nomination process. I thought we had finally reached acceptance, but it appears the GOP has shifted back to the bargaining phase. Even at the risk of exploding the party, they appear determined to derail the Trump train.”
Today, London is giving the world a lesson in tolerance, equality, dialogue and the acceptance of the other in his “otherness.”