London Mayor Knocks Trump’s ‘Ignorant’ View of Islam

LONDON (AP) -
In this April 28, 2016 photo, Candidate for London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks while Zac Goldsmith, left, listens during an assembly at the London Mayor election event of London Citizens in London. In the race to become London’s next mayor, one candidate is a bus driver's son who grew up in social housing, the other a billionaire's son raised in a mansion. They are two very different London success stories, and one is about to become mayor of Europe's largest city. The contrast between Labour's Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith is resonant in a city where soaring property prices are increasing income disparities. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks as Zac Goldsmith (L) listens, during an assembly at the mayoral election event of London Citizens in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday criticized Donald Trump’s “ignorant” view of Islam, after the Republican presidential contender suggested Khan could be exempted from a proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Last year Trump proposed “a total and complete” ban on foreign Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what […] is going on.”

Asked how that policy would affect London’s first Muslim mayor, Trump told The New York Times that “there will always be exceptions.”

But Khan said “this isn’t just about me — it’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.”

“Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists,” Khan said in a statement.

Khan, the London-born son of Pakistani immigrants, was elected last week by a wide margin after a campaign that saw his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith accuse him of having shared platforms with Islamic terrorists.

Khan, a former human rights lawyer and Labour Party lawmaker, accused Goldsmith of trying to frighten and divide voters in a multicultural city of 8.6 million people — more than 1 million of them Muslims.

In his victory speech, Khan said the result marked of “hope over fear and unity over division.”

The mayor said Tuesday that Trump and people who agree with him “think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam – London has proved him wrong.”

Trump said he was “happy to see” Khan’s election and hoped “he does a good job.”