Sadiq Khan’s Democratic Islam

PARIS – The man of the hour in the United Kingdom, if not in Europe, is obviously Sadiq Khan – Pakistani by origin, Muslim by faith, and newly elected Mayor of London.

There are several ways to look at Khan’s victory.

One can repeat the litany of complaints that his Conservative opponent leveled against him, legitimately, throughout the campaign. There was Khan’s September 2004 meeting with Islamic radicals under the auspices of the pro-Palestinian organization Friends of Al-Aqsa. There was his 2009 interview on Iranian television, in which he compared Britain's moderate Muslims to “Uncle Toms.”

There were also his reported contacts with unsavory characters. One, Yasser al-Sirri, is the Egyptian author of a statement on Osama bin Laden’s “honorable death,” among other pearls. Another, Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, is a jihadist militant who likely trained others at a camp in Pakistan. And Yusuf al-Qaradawi is a Qatar-based theologian and Al Jazeera preacher who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood’s most radical wing.