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How London's New Muslim Mayor Feels About Donald Trump

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan, the newly elected mayor of London, England, is no fan of Donald Trump or his proposed ban on Muslim immigration. (Reuters photo)

Newly elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan isn't much of a fan of presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Khan, a member of the liberal Labour Party in the United Kingdom, became the first Muslim to be elected to his post last week. London is the most populous capital city in Europe, as well as its most culturally diverse.

He invoked the American businessman's name during an interview with the Washington Post prior to the election saying he rejected "nativist populism," calling it the "Donald Trump approach to politics." He said such an approach seeks to divide, rather than unite.

In that same interview, Khan—the son of Pakistani immigrants—joked: "I'll need to rush to come to America before November, because if Trump wins, I'll be banned from coming." It's a quip he's made several instances since, and which was repeated Monday in a report published by TIME magazine.

In response, Trump said there would likely be an exception in his Muslim travel ban for Khan. The Republican front-runner also had positive things to say about Khan's prospects as mayor, but former Member of Parliament would have none of it.

"Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe: It risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists," he said.

Khan faced questions about his religion in the final days of the London mayoral election, particularly about potential connections to Islamists. Those allegations fell flat and were widely discredited, even by members of the Conservative Party.

However, in 2008, The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Khan had met with a constituent who was later convicted of ties to a terrorist group, and the conversation had been recorded by the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorism Branch. That prompted a review because of a law the prohibited police from "bugging" conversations between MPs and their constituents.

In 2013, after he voted in favor of the British Same-Sex Marriage Act, Khan found himself in the crosshairs of Islamists who oppose homosexuality. He received police protection due to death threats and a fatwa issued by an imam in his home town.

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