London Mayor Sadiq Khan uninvites Trump as opposed to Humane British Values

By Juan Cole | (informed Comment) | – –

Trump’s shameful and out of context attacks on Sadiq Khan, the popular mayor of London, have only reminded us of what a boor Trump is.

Britain agrees. Khan told Channel 4 News Monday, “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the U.S.A. in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for. When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”

Sadiq Khan did a video announcement to Londoners after the vicious attack on Saturday night by members of the radical Al Muhajiroun extremist organization. In it, he noted that he was putting extra police on the streets of the UK capital, but that the public should not be alarmed by this step. He wanted them to interpret it as added security, not a sign of extra risk.

Trump went off on Khan on Twitter, trying to make it seem as though the mayor had been playing down the seriousness of the attack. He was not.

The Irish Times quoted Khan as having said,

“London stands in defiance against this cowardly attack on our city, our people, our values and our way of life. I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who committed these hideous crimes. We will defeat you. You will not win,” he said, flanked by politicians from across party divides, police officers and leaders from different faiths.

“As a proud and patriotic British Muslim I say this: You do not commit these disgusting acts in my name. Your perverse ideology has nothing to do with the true values of Islam and you will never succeed in dividing our city.”

I don’t think it can be sufficiently underlined how important it is for the UK’s Muslim community of some 3 million persons (out of 65 million) to hear a respected public figure such as Khan speaking this way.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is in the midst of a hard-fought election to be determined later this week, has been put in a difficult position by Trump’s cold-blooded rudeness and attempt to grandstand on the bodies of Saturday’s victims.

Trump is widely despised in Britain and the perception that May is close to him may hurt her in the polls. So on Monday she felt constrained to distance herself from the skunk at the Rose Garden and to throw some support to Sadiq Khan:

“I think Sadiq is doing an excellent job.

“We’re working with the Mayor of London and City Hall to ensure, for example, that the transport network is able to get back up and running so that people can go about their business.

“I’ve been very clear, I’ve been very happy to say when I think President Trump is wrong – to have taken America out of the climate change agreement, the Paris agreement.

“The United Kingdom stays in it and we believe it’s an important international agreement – so I’m not afraid to say when I think President Trump is getting things wrong.”

Theresa May’s comments seem to me the biggest indictment possible of Trump as a politician. As the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, she ought to be able to express warm support for a Republican president. That she feels she has to slam this one has everything to do with (odious) personality and little to do with policy. That as a Tory she feels she has to support a Labor mayor of Muslim heritage is breathtaking.

In turn, it is hard to see how Trump’s drunk uncle night time Twitter rants are not hurting the United States and its soft power in diplomacy.



Related video:

Channel 4 News: “London Mayor Sadiq Khan: ‘Police cuts are unsustainable'”

11 Responses

  1. Too much talk about Trump and security while ignoring:

    A- That the people in Muslim world believe that the West wants to destabilize, divide and destroy Islam, a belief that is supported by the West’s multiple military attacks to Muslin countries in the last 15 years;
    B- That all nations or ethnic groups have self-proclaimed “messiahs” ready to sacrifice themselves in order to vindicate, save their people, -we call them “terrorists” they call them…-;
    C- That there may be a correlation between A and B;
    D- That ignoring such possible correlation won’t solve the problem but it can make worse.
    E- That ALL people are people with mothers, children, and sentiments.

    • The reason there’s not too much talk about Trump is that if one paid attention to that talk, one would know that Trump campaigned as a self-proclaimed messiah ready to sacrifice anything to save his “people”. He actually said that he was the only man who could “save” America. You know that the goal of American imperialism is to create a world penetrable by Wall Street capital. Which means no matter how violent the US is, it is not even using one-tenth of one percent of the destructive energy of its arsenal; the other 99.9% are in the nukes. A terrorist who really believes his own shtick would not show such restraint if he had nukes. Trump is crossing a line where there suddenly is no reason to not use nuclear weapons to eliminate enemies. The problem, as always with him, is determining what he really believes.

  2. Great Britain is our strongest and closest ally. NATO is the longest lasting peace time alliance in history and, one could argue, the most effective. Trump seems determined to destroy our relationship with both. Only Russia benefits from this. Either he is a raving lunatic (possible) or this is payback by Trump to Russia.

  3. Trump simply hadn’t read what the mayor said. That is actually more troubling than his senseless comment. He also completely underestimates the selfless solidarity that comes naturally to Londoners under stress, and which I knew first hand as a child in the blitz. He’s in for a tough time when he turns up for his bit of bunting and ride in a carriage. In some ways Trump seems a putative Netanyahu, the same unprincipled single-mindedness, with the main difference that Trump has had less time at it politically, but he’s learning. So far the main beneficiary of his ascendency is the media which earned large sums salaciously promoting him and more now self-righteously hounding him. The free media is also almost entirely responsible for parading Sadiq Khan as Muslim, something I would not have given a thought to but for it being so aggressively thrust into one’s face. It’s an old media trick to insist something isn’t true or doesn’t matter when nobody thought it was, or did.

  4. Britain agrees. Khan told Channel 4 News Monday, “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the U.S.A. in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.

    The Brits have rolled out the red carpet for despots from the Middle East and Africa very much worse than Trump. Nevertheless, Mayor Khan does have a very good point.

    • Of course, let’s not forget our own George W. Bush who was a guest of Her Majesty. They don’t come much worse than Dubya.

  5. When the British marched in London against Blair’s war on Iraq thousands from all around the UK travelled. Rail companies offered reduced tickets so people can join the march. I didn’t meet Iraqis during the march but I did meet elderly people Pushing their way with walking sticks
    Now I therefore believe that those people are the true face of Britain and I shall never forget their support for Iraq a nation of multi religion as well in spite of what many people think
    The followers of Moses, Mohammed, John the baptist lived in Iraq in peace for centuries until Blair and his gang started bombing it. The question is why when the non Muslims commit a crime of terror and not named Christian terrorists?

  6. Trump’s like the biggest online troll around. And he’s the president. Extremely unhelpful and clearly exploiting the attack in London. Even his remarks on not having a gun debate was blood boiling. He clearly has it in for Sadiq Khan. Too bad the UK, whether May or someone else, is still going to welcome him.

    And now Trump is taking credit for the Qatar isolation. Don’t think that’s going to go down well with many Arab or Muslim citizens across the region when he acknowledges US interference. Surprised there’s no latest article on the current feud anywhere on the website. It’s been a couple of days now.

  7. Trump is taking credit for isolating Qatar, while Qatar has the biggest US base there to bomb Syria & Iraq.

    Only an ignorant & fool will take credit for isolating Qatar.

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