Saturday, 7 May 2016

Sadiq Khan: Global figures and media react to London mayoral victory


Sadiq Khan is photographed with a mobile phone in front of Tower Bridge, LondonImage copyrightPA
Labour's Sadiq Khan has been elected Mayor of London, becoming the city's first Muslim mayor.
The news has prompted headlines around the world, and Politicians and city leaders have taken to Twitter to congratulate him, including the left-leaning mayors of New York and Paris.
Bill de Blasio tweets: Sending congratulations to London's new Mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, at Sadiq Khan. Look forward to working together!Image copyrightBill de Blasio
Anne Hidalgo tweets: Congratulations to (at) Sadiq Khan, elected Mayor of London. Convinced that his humanism and his progressivism will benefit Londoners!Image copyrightAnne Hidalgo
Image captionParis mayor Anne Hildalgo tweets: "Congratulations to @SadiqKhan, elected Mayor of London. Convinced that his humanism and his progressivism will benefit Londoners!"
Congratulations also came from Ahok Basuki Purnama, the governor of Jakarta. He became Jakarta's first Christian governor in 50 years when he was elected in 2014.
Ahok Basuki Purnama tweets: Congratulations SadiqKhan, the new mayor of London. Inspiring story of democracy, merit and tolerance.
Jemima Goldsmith, the sister of Conservative party rival Zac Goldsmith,congratulated Mr Khan on his victory. The ex-wife of Pakistani cricketer and politician Imran Khan also appeared to criticise her brother's campaign.
Jemima Goldsmith tweets: Congratulations to sadiqkhan-1st Muslim Mayor of London- a city for all cultures, backgrounds & religions. A great example to young Muslims
Jemima Goldsmith tweets: Sad that Zac's campaign did not reflect who I know him to be- an eco friendly, independent- minded politician with integrity.

'Role model' for millions

The New York Times describes Mr Khan's victory as "striking" and leads with the fact that he is London's first Muslim mayor. It described London as a city with an acute shortage of affordable homes and a creaking, overcrowded mass transit network.
Tweet by New York Times: Sadiq Khan elected as London's first Muslim mayorImage copyrightNew York Times
A commentary in German news magazine Der Spiegel describes Mr Khan's win as a "victory over Islamophobia", and says London is breaking new ground. "The mayoral election shows that London is more liberal, clever and tolerant than the Conservative mudslingers would like to think," it says.
Headline about Sadiq Khan's victory in Der SpiegelImage copyrightDer Spiegel
Qatari daily Al-Sharq says: "Once again, the British capital enters history, this time through the gate of democratic victory by electing a Muslim of immigrant descent as its mayor."
Al-Sharq newspapers article on Sadiq KhanImage copyrightAl-Sharq
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper says that Khan should see himself as a role model for millions of Muslims living in Europe.
With the rise of increasingly popular right-wing parties across the continent, the paper's Brussels correspondent Shada Islam writes that "Khan's story should help set the record straight on immigration, integration and European Muslims".
History Professor Juan Cole points out that Mr Khan is by no means the first Muslim in charge of a European city. In a popular blog post he traces the history of Muslim rule in Spain, Greece, the Balkans, and Sicily. "Not to mention that Constantinople/Istanbul is one of the larger European cities... the mayor there is a Muslim," he says.

Bus drivers 'new elite'?

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former co-chair of the UK Conservative Party, and Business Secretary Sajid Javid congratulated Mr Khan and pointed out their similar backgrounds.
"Bus drivers are clearly the new Etonians" quipped writer and conservative activist Tim Montgomerie, referring to the elite public school attended by Prime Minister David Cameron and Mr Goldsmith.
Sayeed Warsi: From this daughter of a Pakistani bus driver to a son of a Pakistani bus driver congratulations (at) SadiqKhanImage copyrightSayeed Warsi
In France's Le Figaro, London-based French essayist Laetitia Strauch-Bonnart says "two images of the United Kingdom" faced each other in this election: The "exemplary success story" of Mr Khan's life and "the billionaire's son", Mr Goldsmith.
"In order to appeal nowadays, it is better to have a disadvantaged background, a personal history made of difficulties and social mobility," she told the paper. "It's the spirit of the time, and Goldsmith was not on the right side."
Finally, before the result was in, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt tweeted a warning about how Mr Khan could possibly be treated if Republican hopeful Donald Trump was to become US President.
Carl Bildt tweets: A Muslim elected as new mayor of London. Will be banned from visiting the US under a Trump presidency.Image copyrightCarl Bildt

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