Pakistani bus driver's son becomes London's first Muslim mayor
Another history has been made in the United Kingom with the election of Sadiq Khan as the first Muslim mayor of London.
London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, is the proud son of a Pakistani-born bus driver who considers himself so liberal he backed gay marriage and even launched his campaign in a pub.
The Labour MP also put tackling terrorism and ‘rooting out its cancer’ at the heart of his election manifesto and pledged to put the capital on a ‘war-footing from day one.’
Mayor Khan was helped into City Hall by Tory rival Zac Goldsmith’s campaign, which was even branded ‘racist’ by his own party after he claimed Labour ‘thinks terrorists are its friends.’
But his political career has been dogged by incidents where he has ended up sharing the platform with extremists.
The former human rights lawyer has also been forced into a recent humbling apology to Londoners for giving the impression he shared their views.
The politician has apparently made nine appearances alongside Sulaiman Ghani, a radical cleric who said was a supporter of ISIS and believes homosexuality is ‘unnatural’.
MailOnline also revealed this year that in 2009 he supported groups promoting Islamic extremism and gave a speech while the ‘black flag of jihad’ was openly flying in the hands of children.
This week he apologised for calling moderates Muslim groups ‘Uncle Toms’ on Iranian-backed Press TV, also in 2009, a slur used by black people to suggest that members of their community are subservient to whites.
Despite this the father-of-two has himself suffered death threats from Islamists who hate him for being too liberal, especially because he voted for same-sex marriage.
Mr Khan admitted a Fatwa on his head made him consider getting bodyguards for his solicitor wife Saadiya, and their two children Anisah and Ammarah, 16 and 14. because he feared their lives were also in danger.
Officers in his Tooting constituency in London have been put on high alert, and will respond 'extra-quick' should an incident be reported at his home.
Sadiq Khan is the son of a bus driver who grew up in London, and represents the Tooting constituency he was born in.
Photographs of his childhood show his family standing proudly outside their council home and another shows him waving a union flag and wearing a crown on the day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1977.
He is Labour’s first mayor since Ken Livingstone, who he used to help advise, but has fought to distance himself Red Ken’s politics and also Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Lawyer Mr Khan wooed his fellow-lawyer wife of 22 years Saadiya over Filet-O-Fish in a Croydon McDonalds and nights at a nearby cinema.
The pair wed married in 1994 and now have two teenage daughters.
Mr Khan, one of Ed Miliband’s closest friends, sees himself as a liberal left-winger and he has even admitted that enjoys facials and manicures.
Wife Saadiya recently booked him into a spa as a romantic surprise and he shops in Banana Republic because ‘you can buy clothes for short people like me.’
The handsome 45-year-old says a cab drivers told him recently: ‘I thought it was George Clooney for a minute’ – another said he looked like Jose Mourinho.
London contains 40 per cent of Britain’s Muslims and he has spoken widely about the importance of his faith.
It is their backing that will have helped him to 44 per cent of first preferences, compared.
His family always observe Ramadan, including fasting, and he was the first British minister to make make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
He said: ‘I attended mosques and madrassas in Tooting and Balham, adding to the knowledge of Islam taught me by my family. From a young age we learned the importance of the five pillars of Islam; faith, prayer, charity, fasting — and Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, a journey every Muslim must try to make in their lifetime.’
Mr Khan says he has ‘spent my whole adult life fighting extremism.’
He added: ‘I know that Muslims have a responsibility to speak up, address this problem head on and to show that it will not be tolerated — and I've paid a high price for doing exactly that.’
He admitted recently that almost every Muslim has met one and said: ‘It's affected my personal life, my friendships, and my career. People I knew as a boy have gone on to act on them in terrible ways.’
But only this week he was branded unfit to be mayor after it emerged that he had described moderate Muslim groups as 'Uncle Toms.’
The claim emerged in a 2009 interview with Iranian-backed Press TV when he was 'minister for community cohesion', in charge of efforts to stamp out extremism.
Mr Khan has already faced claims about his dealings with extremists during the campaign to succeed Boris Johnson as mayor.