On Thursday May 5, 45-year-old Labour MP Sadiq Khan became London’s first Muslim mayor. His nomination wasn’t without contention, as even Prime Minister David Cameron railed against Khan’s extremist background and associations.
While journalists have billed Khan as a human rightslawyer before his entrance into the political arena, the truth is far less benevolent. In 2001, Khan counseled the Nation of Islam in a case that sought to overturn a 15-year-ban on the movement’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, from entering the country.
In the following years, Khan visited Babar Ahmad, who was shuffled between the U.S. and the U.K. on extraditions before finally pleading guilty to providing material support to the Taliban. Khan also campaigned for the release and repatriation of Guantanamo detainee, Shaker Aamer. Aamer and Ahmed are known to have provided Khan with links to CAGE, an advocacy group that describes Islamic State executioner Mohammed Emwazi as a “beautiful young man.” In addition to these grossly extremist associations, Khan has shared a stage with multiple Islamic extremists and has a long history of supporting extremists, terrorists and Islamists under the guise of ‘humanitarian’ work.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to raise this issue in the House of Commons was met with hurling accusations, including that of being a racist. Opposition to Cameron’s warnings may have had to do with how well Khan has integrated as a Member of Parliament, even advising Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (himself no stranger to close associations with jihadist killers) on how to appear more British. The evidence incriminating Khan, which includes a lengthy history of using Western law to secure freedom for Muslim radicals and extremists, was left largely ignored. If explored, it would show that Sadiq Khan is, by definition, an Islamist.
And that’s the thing Islamists know how to do very well – they know how to blend in. Whether Khan can sing the national anthem or sympathize with those vexed by London’s gentrification has ultimately nothing to do with who Khan is as a person. And who Khan is as a person is discovered though the long list of nefarious extremists he has defended us a ‘human rights’ lawyer.
For the average Muslim, Islamism (or civilization jihad), is an unrecognized reality. Instead, Sadiq is seen as defending Muslims – one of the highest causes a Muslim can serve, ultimately making a Sadiq a hero. In light of his win, Muslims have come out in support of Khan in other ways, pinning their own grueling immigration stories on Khan’s rise to power. And that’s where they see hope in him: “if the son of a Pakistani bus driver can make it, then so can we.” It’s there that we find a story of hope and it’s also where the narrative ends, when that’s exactly where we need to press further.