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A Tale of 2 British Muslim politicians: Interview with al-Quds

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Q: Some political figures in Britain like Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid or Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have come into the top levels of British government. These officials are Muslim but they are actually staunch supporters of Israel. What is your assessment of this?

We must be careful not to lump all such public figures into one heap. Sajid Javid refers only to his "Muslim heritage" and denies any religious affiliation now. So he is perfect for the British government. A nice Muslim-sounding name with no strings attached. He is a life-long conservative, was a big supporter of Margaret Thatcher, and is a banker to boot.

At a 'Conservative Friends of Israel' lunch in 2012, the Jewish Chronicle reported Javid as stating that "if he had to leave Britain to live in the Middle East, then he would choose Israel as home. Only there, he said, would his children feel the 'warm embrace of freedom and liberty'". He will have a 'warm embrace' in hell when he meets his Maker.

Sadiq Khan, also of Pakistani descent, is a life-long Labour supporter, formerly MP for Tooting, South London, poor mans' London, from 2005 to 2016. He is on the Labour Party's 'soft left'. His election as Mayor of London made him the city's first ethnic minority mayor, and the first Muslim to become mayor of a major western capital. Khan is a friendly, open man, a fine Muslim, and gained the affection of Londoners of all stripes, winning the largest personal mandate of any politician in Britain (57%), despite being victimized and vilified by Zionists and other racists during his campaign.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan
(image by Katy Blackwood)
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Khan's focus has always been on inter-ethnic cohesion and interfaith dialogue. He is attacked from all sides of the political spectrum. His Zionist opponents have criticised his willingness to share a platform with allegedly fundamentalist Islamic clerics, mainly from his time as MP in Tooting. His work to improve relations between Muslim communities and wider British society has meant that he received security threats from both Islamist and far-right activists. As a boy, he encountered racism, which led to him and his brothers taking up boxing.

He was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015, but has said that he was "no patsy" to Corbyn, and did not vote for him in the end. So he is a progressive, but not committed to overthrowing the 'new Labour' of Tony Blair. But he is no patsy of Israel either.

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While fasting during Ramadan in 2016, Khan declared that he would use the period as an opportunity to help "break down the mystique and suspicion" surrounding Islam in Britain and help to "get out there and build bridges" between communities, organizing iftars at synagogues, churches, and mosques. He then appeared at a Trafalgar Square celebration of Eid al-Fitr, endorsing religious freedom and lambasting "criminals who do bad things and use the name of Islam to justify what they do".

In his first weeks as Mayor, Khan criticized foreign investors for treating homes in London as "gold bricks for investment", instead urging them to invest in the construction of affordable homes for Londoners through a new agency, Homes for Londoners, which he set up, funded by both public and private money.

Many right-wing American media outlets reacting with horror at his election. The far right party Britain First issued a press statement declaring Khan a Muslim "occupier" engaged in entryism (joining an organization in an attempt to expand influence of one's program), and threatened to target where he "lives, works and prays" with direct action protest.

Khan follows the political current, allowing popular policies that are 'politically correct', like same-sex marriage, despite not necessarily personally accepting them, putting him at odds with orthodox Muslims. That is the price of being such a prominent, publicly elected official. There was a fatwa put out against him, in which an Imam declared him to be no longer a Muslim, forcing him to accept police protection.

So on the whole, Khan is a great gift to both London and to Muslims everywhere. No one in the West has done more as a public figure to show that Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace, whatever one might think of his individual policies.
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Q: Does Israel have a role in the success of these kinds of officials in Britain and other countries?

The most prominent pro-Israel organization lobbying western political parties is the 'Friends of Israel Initiative', founded, among others, by British Conservative Party peer, former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble. The Conservatives are the torch-bearer for Israel.

But Labour was long ago co-opted by the Zionists. These 'Friends' organizations keep the parties in line, and even provide financing to MPs. The latest bribery political scandal involved Labour Friends of Israel. There are even Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, and of course European Friends of Israel in every European capital.

We can be sure they are not happy with Khan. He is not a 'friend' of Israel but has been careful to keep the Zionists at bay, unlike all other prominent Labour politicians. At an Iftar at a synagogue that was attending by 200 people, mostly Jews and Muslim immigrants from Somalia, including some MPs belonging to 'Labour Friends of Israel', he said he was 'concerned' about the rise of antisemitism in the city as result of Brexit victory. How's that for walking the Zionist tightrope covering Britain?

Khan supported staying in Europe. His concern that anti-Jewish sentiment could increase is not without foundation, given the way Zionists have kidnapped the meaning of 'Jewish', forcing all Jews to support Israel as the very definition of Jewishness. As mayor, he must be concerned for all Londoners, including Jews. Following the Brexit referendum, the spate of racially motivated attacks indeed increased. But there were none against Jews; rather against blacks, Asians and Muslims. So British Jews can sleep in peace.

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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games" and "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" are available at (more...)

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