Labour candidate Sadiq Khan was set on Thursday to become the first Muslim to be elected mayor of London, loosening the ruling Conservatives’ hold on Britain’s financial center after a campaign marred by charges of anti-Semitism and extremism.
His expected victory may be a lone bright spot for Labour on a day of local elections in England, Scotland and Wales. Opinion polls suggested the main opposition party would lose seats in some traditional strongholds, testing the authority of its new left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
In bright sunshine, Britons trickled in to voting stations to cast their ballots in elections which some campaigners fear could fail to attract many voters, as the contests have been overshadowed by next month’s referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
The fight to run London – the top prize in the local elections – has pitted Labour’s Khan, 45, the son of an immigrant bus driver, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, 41, the elite-educated son of a billionaire financier.
The winner will replace Conservative Boris Johnson, who has run the city of 8.6 million people for the past eight years and is seen as a leading contender to succeed David Cameron as party leader and prime minister.
We’re not nearly as excited as Yahoo. As the website YoungCons noted, Khan’s family has serious ties to Islamic radicals:
While countries of Europe are confronted with the problem of responding to the millions of Middle East refugees seeking asylum, the great city of London is about to elect a Muslim mayor.
And not just any Muslim mayor but a man who has faced a string of claims about his past dealings with Muslim extremists.
His name is Sadiq Khan. And he is a bad dude.
Polling suggests some people are nervous about having someone like Mr. Khan near an office that wields so much power, responsibility, and cash.
In fact one third of Londoners remain suspicious of having a Muslim Mayor, and the likes of Sajid Javid or Syed Kamall suffer because of their co-religionists’ insistence on fellow-travelling with extremists, if not holding extremist views themselves.
Apart from his somewhat threatening statements about not voting for him while claiming that “he is the West”, Mr. Khan’s own track record is perhaps one of the most sour of all Muslim politicians in the Western world.
In 2001 he was the lawyer for the Nation of Islam in its successful High Court bid to overturn the 15-year-ban on its leader, Louis Farrakhan.
In 2005 and 2006 he visited terror-charged Babar Ahmad in Woodhill Prison. Mr. Ahmed was extradited to the U.S. in 2012, serving time in prison before being returned to the UK in 2015. Mr. Ahmed pleaded guilty to the terrorist offences of conspiracy, and providing material support to the Taliban.
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