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FRIENDLY ENEMIES

“This isn’t just about me”: London’s new Muslim mayor rejects Trump’s offer to let him into the US

Aamna Mohdin
By Aamna Mohdin

Reporter

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has a controversial plan to ban Muslims from entering the US. The first exception on the list? London’s newly elected Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan told Time that he wanted to visit fellow progressive mayors in New York and Chicago but “if Donald Trump becomes the president, I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.” Khan, the first Muslim to run a major Western city, said he would try to visit before January in case Trump wins.

Speaking to The New York Times (paywall), Trump clarified that Khan would be able to enter and “there will always be exceptions” to his proposed ban.

Trump’s call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” followed the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California last year by suspected ISIL sympathizers. The proposed ban was met with a chorus of criticism from foreign diplomats across the world, with US secretary of state John Kerry describing the US presidential campaign as an “embarrassment.”

Britain went as far to debate whether Trump should be banned from entering the country. And though Trump wasn’t banned in the end, British politicians didn’t hold back when denouncing the “fool” and “buffoon” with “bonkers” policy ideas.

When asked by the Times why “it’s a very good thing” Khan won the mayoral election, Trump said: “Because I think if he does a great job, it will really—you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.”

Khan has already rejected Trump’s offer to make an exception for him, saying:

This isn’t just about me. It’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.

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