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Londoners Reject the Politics of Racism & Fear

Since London woke up to confirmation of a resounding win for Labour’s Sadiq Khan in the Mayoral Elections, another campaign of blame apportioning in the Conservative Party seems to be underway.

The “blame game” for the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith’s defeat began before the final vote count at London’s City Hall had even been announced. It seems clear that David Cameron and his party want to pin their candidate’s defeat firmly onto Mr Goldsmith and his campaign manager Lynton Crosby’s shoulders, whilst distancing themselves from the reality that Mr Cameron was very much a major player in a very dirty game.

To engage in “Dog Whistle politics” is to disseminate a message that has a coded undertone and, in this particular case, the aim was to highlight the fact that Sadiq Khan is a Muslim. We heard that Sadiq Khan, during his career as a human rights lawyer, had represented some so-called “Muslim extremists” and had “shared a platform” with others. The message to the public was clearly to convey that Sadiq Khan, as a Muslim, is possibly dangerous and if not then he knows people who might well be.

This recent phenomenon of judging people by whom they happened to have attended the same event as, or “shared a platform with”, is a preposterous method used rather effectively to inhibit free speech. We have seen this tactic used to prevent Islamic scholars and Palestinian rights activists from speaking at events on University campuses, desperately linking two people to events or to so-called religious extremism when they have no real connection or influence over each other.

David Cameron used the “shared a platform” smear in the most outrageous and inaccurate way in his attempt to create a connection between the Labour candidate and terrorism. He drew a link between the totally innocent Sheikh Suliman Ghani, previously the Imam of Tooting Mosque, and Sadiq Khan. Mr Cameron used the dispatch box to make the claim that Suliman Ghani supported ISIS which was an outright lie and one that unraveled very quickly after the respected Sheikh heard about the claim and rightly fought back quickly on social media to clear his name. Sheikh Ghani challenged David Cameron to make the claim again, this time away from the dispatch box so that he could legally challenge him on his words.

It was pointed out very quickly on social media that Suliman Ghani had spoken earlier this year at an Islamic event about “The Evils of ISIS”. This was not only pointed out by Mr Ghani, but was also uncovered during a comprehensive investigation into Mr Ghani by LBC radio journalist Theo Usherwood. This is a lesson to us that not everyone in generally pro-establishment media is our enemy; some are honest and should be commended. Indeed, Theo Usherwood, having gathered detailed information on Suliman Ghani, confronted Zac Goldsmith face to face with the facts. This was a chance for Mr Goldsmith to reconsider the claims, but Mr Goldsmith remained firm on his position that Sadiq Khan gave cover to extremists. Surely, after Theo Usherwood confronted Mr Goldsmith with his refutation of the claims against Mr Ghani, Mr Goldsmith should have requested his office to look into the matter further.

Incredibly enough, the claim that Suliman Ghani supports ISIS was repeated by Michael Fallon, the Defense Secretary on BBC radio 4’s Today programme, the morning after Sadiq Khan’s victory. Sheikh Ghani will be able to look for legal redress as, this time, the Member of Parliament spoke without parliamentary privilege, away from the dispatch box in the House of Commons. A petition has been created, David Cameron must apologise to Suliman Gani, which we should all help disseminating. It is a shame that it has only received 3,000 signatures so far. This is something we should all play our part in for creating the push for accountability.

Rumblings in the media as to the extent of the negativity in the campaign being waged by the Conservative party against Sadiq Khan did not appear to have pricked the Tory conscience nor dented the heavy armour of the strategic tank battalion of the Lynton Crosby managed campaign. Perhaps it was the unexpected victory in the 2015 General Election by the Tories giving them a perception of invincibility or perhaps it is a trait that comes from having a background of exceptional privilege that enabled them to exceed the limits of what might have been considered the normal rough and tumble of electioneering.

Unbelievably, the situation went from bad to even worse when, despite the facts having been in the public domain for some days, rather than back down and admit that he had perhaps been given incorrect information, Mr Cameron went on to make more spurious claims against Mr Ghani for a second time at Prime Ministers Questions last week.

This, I believe, was the final straw for many voters in a campaign by the Conservative party, which had long since been labeled as racist and Islamophobic. Talking to people in my community and listening to members of the public being interviewed about their voting choices on the radio, it emerged that many had been put off voting for Zac Goldsmith by the fact that his campaign was just too dirty.

And this is one cause for celebration at the election result. Whatever our disagreements with Sadiq Khan as an individual, it is heartening to know that the majority of voters in London said ‘No’ to the politics of fear and racism. Of course, he is by no means a Muslim known for holding onto the Islamic Values and principles Islam has empowered Muslims with, and of course some of his past, present and future actions will be seen by all schools of thought as major sins to put it lightly. But if we look to the broader social and political context, it does not take an optimist to appreciate the fact that someone who was constantly spun as a ‘Muslim mayor’, ‘extremist sympathiser’ or some kind of closet Islamist by the right-wing press, was elected to one of the highest posts in the country despite the propaganda against him. It suggests that the racists and Islamophobes who could not look past his ‘Muslimness’ were outnumbered by those who could. It suggests that those who are intelligent enough to see past propaganda outnumber those that are stupid enough to fall for it.

Sadiq Khan must recognise that many people may have voted for him because they are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has always been a firm supporter of the Palestinian right to self determination, a cause very close to every Muslim’s heart and for which he faces such a hostile campaign from the pro-Israel Blairites in his own party and the mainstream media. Even more importantly, he will be held to account by Allah for more than most of us—for everything he does and does not do with the new powers he is being tested with.

No doubt there will be much more analysis of the Mayoral election for the days and weeks to come and I, for one, do not want David Cameron or the increasingly pro-establishment mainstream media to escape responsibility for the failure of the Conservative candidate. Week by week, as Cameron and his fellow Tory front benchers who love to sit honking and braying throughout Prime Ministers Questions or even through debates on reducing disability benefits from the most vulnerable people in our society, the public perception of them as the nasty party is one that has been well earned. Despite Labour actually winning seats in these elections and the Tories losing some, the mainstream media is desperately spinning the results as a Labour fail.

For myself and other Muslims who voted for various candidates based on the policies of particular candidates that appealed to us as individuals, there is little culture of block voting. It is true that many Muslims voted Labour historically but a couple of generations down the line there are even some who have, in the past, voted Conservative too. Political awareness is growing in the Muslim community. With some organisation and direction from community leaders we could become a cohesive force that political parties seek out to court for our votes. Given direction and leadership, if Muslims were a cohesive force we could in fact influence policies because candidates would see the benefit of having our votes. Sadly, however, politically we are mostly reactive and not proactive. We need to go to the political parties and discuss with them the issues that are most important for us as Muslims. The Green Party in particular has policies that appeal to Muslims but I do feel for sure that many of us for the foreseeable future might feel inclined to vote for anyone but the Tories.

One benefit of the dirty campaign run by Cameron’s Tories and their supporters in the media is that we have seen the machinations of the Israel-supporters as both individuals and groups come out into full view. The campaign of alleged anti-Semitism against Corbyn and those who support him was obviously manufactured to cause maximum disruption just before voting day. Every pro-Israel lobby group representative was found space in the media to repeat the lie that anti-Israel criticism and activism are equal to or a manifestation of Jew hatred. Unfortunately, Corbyn was weak enough to react to this by setting in place an enquiry in anti-Semitism within the Labour party. This was an initiative that the lobbyists immediately took as an admission that the problem exists. It is allegedly an anti-Semitic trope to say that pro-Israel lobbies have disproportionate control of media and politics but, after the sheer amount of coverage that the “anti-Semitism in Labour” story was given in the media and the number of politicians who lined to condemn anti-Semitism and confirm they believed in the State of Israel’s right to exist, we were left in no doubt as to the reality. Naz Shah apologised so extensively for her supposed anti-Semitic post on social media and even agreed to be educated on the evils of anti-Semitism. As if, as an Asian herself, she has no understanding of racism. I think we can expect a visit to Israel and Yad Vashem to be a part of her reeducation – again blurring the lines between real anti-Semitism i.e. Jew hatred, and opposition to the racist Zionism of the State of Israel. Conversely the open and clear Islamophobia that exists in certain political parties is not just ignored but also actively promoted in the media. Is there any real difference between the Tory party and Britain First except the members of one had a more expensive education?

 

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

Petition link: https://www.change.org/p/calling-on-friends-of-suliman-gani-join-us-in-urging-david-cameron-to-apologise-and-retract-his-false-allegations

 

About Laura Stuart

Housewife, Human rights activist & revert to Islam

22 comments

  1. Sad that the whole debate comes down to LGBT rights. How come we didn’t hear about such things when I was at school? I am sure we were much happier when children were not sexualised and not subject to propaganda which makes them ponder too much on their genetic make up. You are either an XX or an XY.

  2. Although many Muslims, and non-Muslims of a progressive or ‘centre left’ disposition, are celebrating the victory of Sadiq Khan over Zac Goldsmith as Mayor of London there is a darker side to the London Mayoral / Assembly elections that needs to be considered…

    1. London is best described as a city state with stronger economic, social, and cultural connections with Europe and far away lands than it does with the rest of Britain outside of its commuter belt and a few other towns. Therefore it would be very unwise to view the outcome of the London Assembly elections as representative of the politic mood in the rest of Britain or the directions that society is going. The English council election results were not bad for Labour but they made no headway or progress over the Conservatives which points in the direction of lukewarm support for Labour (and Corbyn?) outside of London. The Scottish Parliamentary elections were very disappointing. There was an unproven theory that the SNP landslide in 2015 was on an anti-austerity rather than independence platform and Labour will bounce back in Scotland under a leader on the ‘left’ but the election results now appear to discredit this theory. It also means that, unless the tide turns in Scotland, that Labour has to work extra hard to win the vote of Middle Englanders who live in Conservative held constituencies in the suburbs and the shires in order to offset the lost constituencies in Scotland if they are to win the 2020 general election. Can they do it under Corbyn? It’s a tall order.

    2. The mayoral election is a two-horse race but the outcome of the assembly election is a more faithful representation of the political views of Londonders. UKIP have managed to elect two members which indicates that there is still some anti-EU / populist / patriotic (or any combination of these) sentiment left in the Capital. The Green Party has also managed to elect two members which indicates that Labour under Corbyn has not managed to completely corner the left / progressive / anti-austerity vote.

    3. The turnout of 45.3% should be more concern than who won the mayoral election. In plain English it means that less than half of all Londoners could be bothered to vote in the election. Therefore the majority of Londoners have got a mayor that the minority have chosen for them. Sadiq Khan won 44.2% of first preference votes (again, less than half) which means that only 20% of Londoners eligible to vote actually voted for him. Yes, it’s true that 4 out of 5 Londoners DID NOT vote for Sadiq Khan as their mayor.

    4. Such a poor turnout raises plenty of questions whether it’s really worth continuing with the London Assembly if less than half of all Londoners could be bothered to vote in the election. Common sense says that really it should be an election attracting a high turnout of around 80% if Londoners were as passionate about their assembly as the media claims they are. I’m wondering whether the novelty surrounding the London Assembly from 2000 has well and truly worn off now and it’s increasingly being seen as a fading relic of the Blair years. I make an intelligent guess that the turnout from Muslims in London is also less than half and could even be as low as 20%.

    5. There are concerns about how committed a Muslim Sadiq Khan really is. Nobody seriously expects that he will bring Sharia Law to London but is he anything more than notionally Muslim or a Muslim by parentage who holds a stronger allegiance to the Labour Party constitution than the Qu’ran, and the Chief Whip than the Prophet? The fact that he voted in favour of same sex marriage hasn’t gone down well with large numbers of people from both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Another sore point is the inept and cack-handed way which Sadiq Khan handed the extradition of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan (he was their MP as well as shadow justice minister) in 2012. He did not even bother to turn up to the debate in the House of Commons on extradition! Serious statements of support from Sadiq Khan are few and far between and if it was not for the tireless efforts of Caroline Lucas then any debate in Parliament about Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan would have quickly been extinguished.

    6. Time will tell how effective Sadiq Khan is as a mayor but concerns from local Muslims (that don’t live in London) are that if he behaves in an unpatriotic manner or he oppresses white British common folk living in London, or treats them as second class citizens, whilst favouring ethnics immigrants and foreigners, then the effects will rub off onto the Muslim communities outside of London in a bad way. Another concern is if Sadiq Khan, and other Labour members of the assembly, play reactionary opposites by systematically adopting the opposite policy to UKIP without any regard for the policy in question then that could also backfire badly.

    • Basically that long extremely boring rant everyone will skim read is because your just upset London has a mayor with the Name Sadiq Khan and he’s brown skinned.
      Well done troll if it wasn’t already obvious you would say all that anyway.

      • Rubbish.

        It’s (the summary of) an in-depth analysis of the London Assembly election and I would appreciate it if people would actually take the time and patience to read in-depth analyses rather than just resorting to shallow soundbites all the time.

        Are you a supporter of Labour or Sadiq Khan who takes the stance that anybody who says anything critical about Sadiq Khan / the outcome of the London mayoral election is a troll? If not, then are you saying that older Englishmen who post comments on this website are all trolls unless they possibly are to the left of Dennis Skinner?

        Sometimes I’m glad that I’m not a Londoner and proudly live in Mercia…

        I have to say that none of the candidates for the London mayoral election particularly impressed or inspired me or were particularly worthy of my vote. So don’t go round thinking that I’m a disappointed Zac Goldsmith supporter. I certainly wouldn’t have voted for him if I had the chance.

        You will be disappointed to know that my criticism of Sadiq Khan has nothing to do with his name or the colour of his skin or his origin. I just think that he is a mediocre politician and an uninspiring individual who may turn out to be a questionable choice – but time will tell. In fact if he was a white English non-Muslim I would think even less of him.

        Again, my biggest concern was the low voter turnout rather than who won. If the turnout at the next London Assembly election is less than 50% then I will seriously consider starting a campaign group to abolish the elected London Assembly and the position of Mayor of London and I’m sure to find plenty of supporters out there. A similar situation applies to the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

  3. Plz add your name on change.org- sulayman gani,for Cameron to apologise.

    We’ve got to get the numbers higher and with Allaahs help we can do it inshaa’aAllaah

  4. Professor Ahsan

    When Allah created man, he endowed him with the highest intelligence that could be dreamed by angels or gins. It is this human intelligence which is the trust of mankind and because of which man has survived the ages of history.
    The British voters have used their intelligence to see beyond the popular propaganda campaign. They deserve salute for this. As said in the article Sadiq may not be an ideal Muslim, however may Allah make him one to take the city to great heights as the Cordoba of Spain where lights in the streets shone while the whole Europe was sunk in darkness.
    May Allah make London a city where hearts and souls light up to lead the path towards peace, prosperity and progress of body and soul not only for London but for the whole of England and Europe.
    In fact I think we also get a lot from Europe for which we must thank and help them get what we have.
    Peace for all war for none.

  5. Dodgy Dave is a very divisive leader, whether that is the vulnerable in our society such as the disabled, or particular ethnic minority groups, namely the Muslims. He is a leader devoid of any scruples, and that is dangerous for those he governs.
    ps. nice to see you back on form sis Laura 🙂

  6. The multi billion pound media machine has globally poured all its efforts into attacking Islam. They did and still do all they could against Muslims in the media. So what does the capital of the free world ( after USA ) do? Votes for a Muslim. It just shows that in reality the media can do what they like however Islam is still growing stronger and is still the fastest growing religion on the planet!
    No one is saying our Muslim brothers Sadiq will implement Sharia but that’s not his job! The trolls seem to have hidden in shame as they have no arguments left!
    Islam is not the barbaric terrorism the media falsely portrays it as. This is a win for democracy and free thought.
    This happened in Egypt, Gaza, turkey, Pakistan and. Is London. When you give people a free non forced vote they choose Islam or Muslims as our Religion teaches tolerance and mercy not hate.

    • I’m glad that Sadiq won the London Mayoral election. He is what I call a modern, progressive Muslim.He can initiate the building of more affordable homes for people priced out of the ridiculously expensive London housing market, and try to get more socialistic policies introduced to help less well-off people. As a socialist he will be fight the discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people practiced by certain religious and other groups, and teach by example that feudal attitudes are not appropriate in the 21st. century. He will ensure that the fight for sexual equality will continue, in attitudes towards employment, dress, marriage, divorce and other areas where it is not yet achieved, due to the backward views of some people. Good luck Sidiq in your new post.

      • It’s very odd how you put the rights of Lgbt and mention that before rights of everyone else you mentioned.
        It’s as if that’s the most important thing for you before anyone elses rights!
        Lgbt make up less than 1% of population.

        • “Lgbt make up less than 1% of population.”
          Even if that is the case [what is your source for the claim?], the right of 1% of the population not to be persecuted for having sexual tastes assorted bigots disapprove of outweighs any right the bigots believe they have to persecute them.

          • lol when I saw the above stat I waited for someone to fall into the trap and come up with this fallacious argument. You see, those who fail to question or think critically will gloss over the glaring mistake of presuming the “persecution” of the 1%—accepting their desired forms of “expressing themselves”, the ability to get ‘married’, and so on—to be anyhow linked with *actual* persecution of those fighting for their very civil liberties in western lands over the last century.

            • What is fallacious about my argument? In the UK the right of men to engage in homosexual activity was a civl liberty which had to be fought for over that time.
              If you don’t consider that an “actual persecution of those fighting for their very civil liberties in western lands over the last century” what are you referring to, Abu Ibrahim?

          • Again your argument is coming from your usual angle. No one saying anything about persecuting them or anything of the sort. Read what I wrote not what your immediate troll islamophobic response is. Just because I am a Muslim you assume I want to kill or persecute these people. Lol! What people do in the privacy of their home is not anyone’s concern even the Islamic states if there is one. Not the so-called one we supposedly have!!

            How about the rights of the palestinians in Gaza?? You never speak out in favour of them and they make up a huge population in its millions.
            Put the situation in context.

            • “What people do in the privacy of their home is not anyone’s concern even the Islamic states if there is one. ”
              And what if they announce they are homosexual in public? Which “rights of the palestinians in Gaza” concern you? There are a lot of people defending their rights here so there’s no need for me to join them.

              • So you absolve yourself if defending any Muslims or saying anything positive. The pattern keeps coming back.
                Go and spread your views in the Us Bible belt and see how much tolerance you will get from the leaders of the free world you seem so in love with.

                • Whar makes you think “the leaders of the free world you seem so in love with” can be found in the “Us Bible belt”? What about the rights of the lgbt palestinians in Gaza?

              • Most states in America won’t allow you to announce it so why complain on a Muslim forum?
                Go to USA and complain to them. Dafa

                • Most states in America won’t allow who to announce what? I probably haven’t complained about “it” – whatever “it” is – here, in fact. Surely a muslim forum is just the place to discuss muslim attitudes to homosexuality, nonmuslims, apostates etc and muslims’ unfortunate historical record of persecuting people whose tastes they didn’t share.

      • “As a socialist he will be fight the discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people practiced by certain religious and other groups”

        LGBT people comprise only around 1% of the population but they are a noisy and bellicose minority. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice – nurture rather than nature – and it certainly isn’t a mental illness. What people do in the comfort of their own bedrooms is their concern not mine but when LGBT people flaunt their sexual orientation in public or promote homosexuality as if it is normal or, even worse, trendy and the way forwards then it becomes a very different ball game.

        Take into account that there are many people who support the economic aspects of socialism but they oppose the social aspects of socialism – such as feminism or the promotion of homosexuality – because they have high moral values.

        • “when LGBT people flaunt their sexual orientation in public or promote homosexuality as if it is normal or, even worse, trendy and the way forwards then it becomes a very different ball game.”…unless they’re lesbians.
          Rugby League, Rugby Union and Association Football are all very different ball games. That doesn’t stop people playing any – or all – of them.

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