Headlines > London’s first Muslim mayor and what it means to a young Muslim

Posted on May 23, 2016
Image courtesy of Steve Punter & Mewiki

Image courtesy of Steve Punter & Mewiki

Hayaati Njuki explores the Sadiq Khan story behind the headlines

May 2016 has been profoundly historical. This is because London’s first-ever Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan has been elected.

Mr Khan, a member of the Labour party, secured 1,310,143 votes as opposed to Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, who only gained 994,614 votes.

Khan was inaugurated as mayor at Southwark Cathedral. In his victory speech, he expressed, “I am proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division.” He further declared, “I promise to always be mayor for all Londoners, to work hard to make life better for every Londoner, regardless of their background.”

Mr Khan did not become Mayor of London overnight. He had been involved in the political sphere for a number of years. He completed his degree in Law, and worked as a solicitor specialising in human rights.

Subsequently, he was elected a Labour councillor for the London borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006. Thereafter, he became the MP (member of Parliament) for Tooting and is now the Mayor for London.

Khan said he wants to make London the city of opportunity and fairness, which it was back when he was growing up

Khan’s plans for London are very promising. For example, he is aiming to cut down council tax to as low rate as possible. Additionally, he has promised to reduce the housing crisis by building more homes across London. He wants the homes to be affordable for families to buy. Khan said he wants to make London the city of opportunity and fairness, which it was back when he was growing up.

“I was lucky to get a good education and go on to university, but I want all Londoners to have the same opportunities to get on in life that this great city gave me – whether that’s through apprenticeships, FE or other routes to employment,” he said.

What I think
I am hopeful that Sadiq Khan will be a successful mayor because of his vigorous plan. Additionally, it seems as though he will help to wipe out the misconceptions and negative stereotypes of Muslims.

As a young Londoner who has converted to Islam, I can relate to Khan because I studied politics during A-levels and I support the ideas of the Labour party. Also I am currently studying a degree in Law, therefore he is definitely someone that I look up to and want to emulate.

Additionally, Khan attending the Holocaust memorial service was so respectful in my eyes in order to show mindfulness to the needs of individuals in the Jewish community. Such conduct can be traced back in the Hadith (which is a book of sayings and traditions about the prophet of Islam, Muhammed). The Hadith details an event when there was a funeral procession of a Jewish man and the prophet stood up in order to show his respect.

It is not only individuals from privileged backgrounds that can achieve such important positions

Such are the principles of Islam, to show respect and tolerance to the beliefs of others. However these views go unheard of because of the radical extremists that provoke negative stereotypes of Islam.

The fact that Khan has attained such a position, coming from a working class background (as his father was a bus driver) is very inspirational. It signifies that it is not only individuals from privileged backgrounds that can achieve such important positions. Anyone who is dedicated and works extremely hard can be crowned with an honourable role in society.

To conclude, this historical change epitomises the beauty of London’s multi-cultural society, which it is mostly popular for.

Hayaati Njuki
Hayaati is 21 years old and has had many challenges. Her biggest tool for progression has been through education. She is currently doing a Law degree. Besides being an educational enthusiast, she is into Hijab fashion (this is because she converted to Islam and started to cover up). Her motto is ‘Modesty is Gorgeous’. She loves to reach out to people with her story: going from your typical ‘hood rat’ to Islam (by choice) and trying to balance her street but sweet personality with the principles of her faith. She believes everyone has an interesting story, which is why she loves to meet new people. All in all, her belief is that ‘you will always find diamonds in the dirt’ and she is yet to be proven wrong.


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