London Versus ISIS
The implications of Sadiq Khan’s election as the new mayor of London – the first Muslim to hold the position – should not be overestimated. But, at a moment when so many Westerners are being tempted by bigotry, Londoners' vote of confidence in the values of an open society is worthy of celebration.
PARIS – “I feel so proud of my city,” my interlocutor says, referring to the election of the first Muslim, Sadiq Khan, as Mayor of London. She is Catholic, though she identifies first and foremost as British. But, like many other Londoners, she was inspired by Khan’s message of hope over fear.
Khan’s election contrasts sharply with dynamics that seem to be at work elsewhere in the West. European populations – in Hungary and Poland, and with a close call in Austria – are falling prey to increasingly radical, openly xenophobic populism. In the United States, Donald Trump’s bombastic bigotry has won him the Republican nomination for the presidency.
Londoners certainly had the option of intolerance. They could have voted for the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, who persistently accused Khan of having ties with “radical Muslims figures.”