Sadiq rebuffs ‘ignorant’ Trump’s offer

May 10, 2016 10:44 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 02:37 am IST

London's newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan appears on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show programe in a studio in London.

London's newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan appears on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show programe in a studio in London.

Sadiq Khan has rebuffed Donald Trump’s suggestion that the new Mayor of London could be an exception to his proposed policy to ban all Muslims from coming to the United States.

Mr. Khan, the capital’s first Muslim Mayor, said the Republican presidential candidate’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. was something that directly affected those closest to him, and said making an exception for him was not the answer. “This isn’t just about me — it’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world,” Mr. Khan said.

‘Alienating Muslims’ “Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists. Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam — London has proved him wrong.” Mr. Trump told The New York Times on Monday that he was happy to see Mr. Khan elected as Mayor of London last week. “There will always be exceptions,” he said of his proposed temporary ban on Muslims.

Mr. Khan has disparaged Mr. Trump’s racially-charged campaign, comparing it to the much-criticised tactics of his defeated Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith, who sought to draw attention to platforms Mr. Khan had shared with Muslim extremists.

Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim visitors to the U.S., posed in the wake of the Islamist attacks in both Paris and San Bernardino last year, was roundly condemned by both U.S. and world leaders, with his then-Republican rival Jeb Bush calling it “unhinged” and David Cameron calling the real estate mogul “divisive, stupid and wrong”.

Mr. Khan said this week he wanted to go to the US to share ideas with Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York and a fellow affordable housing advocate, and Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s former chief of staff who is now Mayor of Chicago, but quipped that he would have to visit before January in case Mr. Trump won the election.

“If Donald Trump becomes the President I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American Mayors and swap ideas,” he told Time magazine .

He may expect a warmer reception if Mr. Trump’s Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton, is elected. Ms. Clinton was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr. Khan on his victory last week, tweeting : “Son of a Pakistani bus driver, champion of workers’ rights and human rights, and now Mayor of London. Congrats Sadiq Khan.” — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2016

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