See First Muslim Mayor in UK After Saturday's Election | The Street Reporters Newspaper See First Muslim Mayor in UK After Saturday's Election | The Street Reporters Newspaper

See First Muslim Mayor in UK After Saturday’s Election

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A Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan, Sadiq Khan has been declared the winner after a protracted count that extended into Saturday in London.

He has emerged the first Muslim to lead Britain’s capital.

Europe is struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes.

The victory also makes him one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in the West.

According to a New York Times report, London is hardly representative of Britain: About a quarter of its residents are foreign-born, and one-eighth are Muslim.

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Khan is not the first Muslim to hold prominent office in Europe: Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, has had a Muslim mayor since 2009, and Sajid Javid is the British secretary of state for business.

Nonetheless, Khan, 45, won a striking victory after a campaign dominated by anxieties over religion and ethnicity.

Britain has not sustained a large-scale terrorist attack since 2005, and its Muslim population, in contrast to France, is considered well integrated. But an estimated 800 people have left Britain to fight for or support the Islamic State.

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Dozens of assaults on British Muslims were reported after the Paris terrorist attacks in November.

The Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, attacked Khan’s past advocacy for criminal defendants, including his opposition to the extradition of a man who was later convicted in the United States of supporting terrorism.

Goldsmith said Mr. Khan had given “oxygen and cover” to extremists. When the Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, repeated those assertions in Parliament, he was accused of racism.

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Khan defended his work as a human rights lawyer, and has said he hoped Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate who has called for barring Muslims from entering the United States, “loses badly.http://thestreetreporters.com/?p=5536&preview=true

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