Europe has been experiencing far more radical Islamic terrorism lately (especially compared to the US – thanks Obama!), which makes it doubly amazing that London, England just elected a Muslim mayor in a landslide victory. This, despite the fact that Conservatives have won a number of electoral victories lately.
But the Conservatives miscalculated on this one. They attempted a dog whistle campaign attempting to paint him as sympathetic to Islamic extremists. Just before the vote, the Conservatives published an op-ed piece that was illustrated with a photo of a terrorist attack in London. But their racist attacks backfired on them. Even fellow Conservatives expressed shame and anger over their own party’s attacks during the mayoral race.
The new mayor, Sadiq Khan, was born in London to Pakistani immigrants, and went on to become a civil rights lawyer and in 2005, London’s first Muslim member of Parliament. He was elected mayor with the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history. At his inauguration Khan pledged to be a mayor for people of all faiths and none, saying “I’m determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community and every single part of our city as a mayor for Londoners”.
We can only hope that racist politics can backfire in the US as well.