If a moderate like Sadiq Khan shouldn’t stand for London mayor, which Muslim can?

I did warn him. Shortly after he became the first Muslim to attend cabinet, I urged Sadiq Khan to be prepared. The Islamophobes, the new McCarthyites, would at some stage come after him. He laughed it off. Yet it was only a matter of time. In the current climate of anti-Muslim hysteria, it was perhaps naive of Khan and his advisers to believe that he could run for City Hall as a proud and public Muslim without being targeted or smeared.

Consider the recent spate of newspaper headlines: “Exposed: Sadiq Khan’s family links to extremist organisation” (Evening Standard); “Khan joined radical imam at rallies” (Sunday Times); “Khan linked to ‘online bin Laden’” (Daily Telegraph); “Sadiq Khan gave speech with ‘black flag of jihad’ flying” (the Sun).

These stories basically boil down to: hard-working constituency MP and former human rights lawyer who campaigned against the extradition of a constituent, Babar Ahmed, to the US on terrorism charges, and for the release of British resident Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo Bay, may, in the process, have shared platforms with allegedly unsavoury characters who’ve made unpleasant remarks. Quelle surprise. [Mehdi Hasan, 1110 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 355 votes] People smear Goldsmith for being a millionaire – Khan’s running for office, so whatever stick people can beat him with, they will.

That said, Islam in particular is perceived as incompatible with the socially progressive ideas that we hold dear. And; let’s face it Mehdi – by and large, it is.

[2ND 305] Why shouldn’t people dislike Islam? It’s just a set of beliefs, ideas and principles, like Conservatism, which do not align with my own beliefs, ideas and principles.

[3RD 175 ] So the fact that Khan actually did those things as reported means he’s being victimised for his religion? Surely any political up for election has their pasts raked over don’t they? And where has anyone said he ‘shouldn’t be’ running for mayor? You’ve decided to write this article first , and then gone looking for justifications to write it. What a pile of shit.

[4TH 162] Once you reduce this article to its core substance, the message appears to be that because Sadiq Khan is a Muslim, anyone who draws attention to that fact or brings up anything contentious or questionable he has said, or reports any actions in his past or those of his extended family which may call into question his fitness to hold the office of Mayor of London, is guilty of Islamophobia.

However, it is perfectly acceptable for he and his supporters to do exactly that about any of his opponents which may call into question their fitness to hold the office of Mayor.

This is basically another demand for special treatment for someone based on their religious beliefs and as such should be roundly rejected.

[5TH 131] That shouldn’t mean…

Of course it shouldn’t. That’s why newspapers investigate. Mr Hassan seems to think kuffirs (his word) should shut up and elect the candidate he favours. Anyone standing for electoral office should expect investigation on the issues which are pertinent. For Zac Goldsmith that’ll be having shitloads of dosh and non-dom status. For Sadiq Khan, that’ll be his religion.

[6TH 124] When you are choosing a person, you have to consider what they believe. So you MUST consider their religion.

[7TH 122] A phobia is an irrational fear of something. As somebody originally from India I assure you that there is nothing irrational about a fear of Islam. Muslims on an individual basis are different but Islam as a belief system? Nothing irrational about being afraid of that.

[8TH 117] Are cattle allowed to comment on this?

[9TH 111] Moderate or extreme, they all read the same texts. The difference is one of emphasis. Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who Mehdi has shamefully smeared in the past) makes a division between Mecca Muslims and Medina Muslims.

Mecca Muslims choose to focus on the early stages of Mohammed’s career, when he’s building alliances and preaching a ‘peace and love’ message. Medina Muslims focus on his later life, where he becomes a successful leader, and where he teaches a much more warlike message.

But whatever you focus on, the question remains – how do you choose which parts of God’s message to trust? If God said it all, isn’t it all true? [Guardian Cif] Read more

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