London’s First Muslim Mayor

By: Alice M.

 

Rome (MP) – London has always been a beautiful and glamorous metropolis as well as a center of magnificent architectural structures and the city of the iconic “Big Ben”. However, recently, it has been in the sight of many jihadist groups and has received threats from larger terrorist groups such as ISIS. These “indirect” attacks have portrayed London as a dangerous destination for many tourists and business people. So, what happens when Londoners elect a Muslim mayor to control their city? It seems like a paradox… Right?

Despite controversies, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim lawyer, was elected the new mayor of London on Saturday May 7th 2016, beating his adversary, Zac Goldsmith. Khan comes from a very poor family; he lived in the suburbs of London with his parents and his seven brothers. His father was a bus-driver and his mother, a seamstress. As he said in an interview, he wants “all Londoners to have the same opportunities that (my) city gave me”. This belief reflects many of the actions he wants to have, discussed in the 10 priorities for London (for more info go visit his website: http://www.sadiq.london/a_manifesto_for_all_londoners) But in a very tense moment like this, many people want to know:  will his changes be positive or negative?

The excitement and euphoria surrounding Khan’s election has also spread throughout the rest of the world, and the local elections have become major global news. Electing Sadiq Khan as the mayor of London could be the “worst nightmare” for all terrorists, according to the newspaper The Guardian. If 1,310,143 people voted in favour of a Muslim mayor instead of voting for the British lawyer and ex student of Eton College, son of the billionaire financier James Goldsmith, it will debunk the myth that we, Europeans, hate Muslims. Maybe also anti-western extremists and supporters of ISIS will understand that Europe is an open continent where everyone can have an opportunity to live in better conditions.

Khan might be the perfect mayor for two reasons: firstly, he is willing to improve the air quality in London, and secondly, he doesn’t undermine the necessity of building houses for the needy. He aspires to build affordable facilities for everyone, from the businessman to the homeless man. London gave him an opportunity to study and work, and these are the two goals he wants to achieve.  As he stated in a speech: “My priorities for London are clear: an affordable and secure home to rent and buy”.

After many years of mayors failing to solve these issues and not understanding the needs of the citizens, Sadiq Khan will hopefully be the person who will solve the majority of London’s problems.

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