Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Sadiq Khan’s victory: a great success story

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And it is official. Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan is the new Mayor of London. The contest was hard fought, but unfortunately we witnessed a lot of things that had nothing to do with the race for Mayor. A number of things were said and done, and none of it should have happened. Conservative Candidate Zac Goldsmith took a very unpleasant approach by continuously highlighting Sadiq Khan’s faith, and by trying to link him with extremists. It was even more shocking to see the Prime Minister, David Cameron, jump on to the mudslinging bandwagon. The election for Mayor should have been about policies and all the things that affect Londoners. But Zac Goldsmith chose a different route in order to get to the post, and thankfully this was rejected by majority of London, and common sense prevailed. Voters gave importance to the things that mattered, not irrelevant issues such as the faith of a candidate, which had nothing to do with the election.
Sadiq Khan’s conduct throughout his campaign should be commended. When his rival used below the belt tactics, Mr Khan chose to focus on what he had to offer as Mayor. Sadiq Khan did not rise to the bait, and carried on moving forward, trying to win over the hearts, minds and votes of Londoners. And this is what many people have appreciated. Rather than getting personal, he stuck to policy. People genuinely wanted to know what the candidates had in mind for their city, and Sadiq Khan did just that. He chose to keep it real. Another reason why most Londoners were able to connect with Sadiq Khan was due to his modest background. Son of a Pakistani bus driver, Sadiq Khan grew up on an estate and established himself on his own merit. For the son of a bus driver growing up on an estate to become the Mayor of a city like London, it really gives hope to everyone, regardless of their religion or ethnic background. It tells you that yes, dreams can come true and anything is possible. As the great Nelson Mandela once said, it is not where you start, but how high you aim that matters for success.
Sadiq Khan’s victory on May the 5th is a real success story on so many levels. British Muslims should feel proud because it is their victory as well. We live in a time where Muslims all over the world are projected in a negative light. Nowadays the word Muslim is associated with something negative. And after constantly hearing derogatory comments towards Muslims by the likes of US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, Sadiq Khan’s victory is a welcome change. And by becoming the Country’s first Muslim Mayor of Pakistani origin, Sadiq Khan has really opened the doors for young British Muslims who are thinking of entering British politics. His win can be seen a symbol of hope. This can inspire young British Muslims, not just in politics, but in any field. And of course this is also a positive sign for anyone belonging to any Ethnic Minority. This opens up the doors of opportunity for all Ethnic Minorities, and tells them that yes, it is possible and it can be done.
But overall it is heartening to see that the majority of London rejected Zac Goldsmith and Conservative Party’s divisive politics, and chose to elect a Mayor that constantly spoke of bringing people together and uniting London. It would have been very easy for people to vote otherwise due to the current climate of mistrust that we are unfortunately living in. But they did not, and majority of Londoners decided to vote on merit. This is the beauty of London, one of the greatest cities of the world. It is a city of opportunities for all and Sadiq Khan’s victory proves just that. If you work hard and strive towards your goals, dreams can turn into reality. Sadiq Khan deserves heartiest congratulations. But so does London, for choosing unity over division. Sadiq Khan is in the best position right now to bring communities together, to mend bridges between people of all faiths and to unite the city to make it even greater.

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