London Mayoral elections, dividing communities

29th Apr 2016

In the campaign for the next mayor of one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world, the race was expected to be very close between the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith and the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan.

Zac Goldsmith was highly regarded among many Muslims. However, the approach of his campaign has been seriously troubling for many of the capital’s Muslim communities. The last two months has seen a turn to the negative, with a series of ill-founded and unjustifiable accusations of links to extremism to slur the character of Khan. And only this week, the Prime Minister of our nation, ramped up the rhetoric by accusing the Labour candidate of sharing a platform with a supporter of IS [Daesh], unfortunately ignoring the fact that this individual was a Tory party supporter with significant interaction with many Conservative MPs, including Goldsmith himself.

His campaign has understandably been accused of being “racist”, “Islamophobic”, “hypocritical”, “appalling”, “disgusting”, “disgraceful” and “demeaning to the office of Prime Ministers” by senior journalists and politicians. The journalist Peter Oborne, who has voted Conservative all his life, called it “the nastiest political campaign since the homophobic hatred of Bermondsey 1983”. What message does this send to British Muslims aspiring to join public life? The ramifications should not be underestimated, and as Oborne says: “If Goldsmith’s campaign succeeds it tells every single British Muslim that there is no role for them anywhere in the British democratic system.”

With Goldsmith’s campaign office saying he was busy with his mayoral campaign to attend The Muslim News Awards for Excellence, and choosing to be the only candidate not to sign Operation Black Vote’s Code of Conduct that pledges not to promote prejudice, we hope that Goldsmith will change approach as polling seems to suggest that Londoners are not falling for this tactic.

Elections should be fought based on policies, not dog-whistle politics and negative character attacks aimed at stoking fear into constituents. I hope that he does not face the ultimate fate as a politician, as George Eaton of the New Statesman, says: “losing with dishonour”.

One Response to “London Mayoral elections, dividing communities”

Najah kadhimMay 3, 2016

Good and accurate article

Reply

Leave a Comment

What is 9 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets