London’s newly elected mayor, Sadiq Khan, has been on a roll when it comes to responding to Donald Trump. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of England's capital city, followed up his comments this week that Trump is “ignorant about Islam” by inviting the United States presidential candidate to visit London to “educate” the businessman about Islam and mainstream Muslims, NBC News reported.
“To suggest that it's incompatible to be Western and to be Muslim is, I think, really, really risky,” Khan said during an interview.
Trump, who famously proposed a ban on Muslims' entering the U.S., said this week Khan would be exempt from that plan. The Republican presidential front-runner first suggested his ban on Muslims in December after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that was inspired by the Islamic State group. The idea prompted widespread backlash from leaders around the world, but polls have continued to show that many Republican voters embrace the ban.
“I want Donald Trump to come to London so I can introduce myself to him as a mainstream Muslim very, very comfortable with Western liberal values, but also introduce him to hundreds of thousands, dare I say millions, of Muslims in this country who love being British, love being Western,” Khan said Friday. “I want to educate Donald Trump. I want to show him that you can be Muslim and be Western.”
Khan repeated his comments that Trump has an “ignorant view of Islam” and said he did not want to be a special exception to how the reality TV star thinks of those who practice Islam.
“What’s important is that I’m not treated as some exceptional case. What I want to see is that you know decent Muslims from all around the world and that Donald Trump doesn’t play into the hands of extremists who say it’s not possible to be Western and to be Muslim,” Khan said.
The anti-Muslim rhetoric has not been limited to Trump this year. Other Republican presidential candidates, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who dropped out of the race last week, have advocated for the U.S. to avoid taking in Muslim refugees and proposed ideas such as assigning law enforcement to “patrol” Muslim neighborhoods to keep an eye out for terrorist activities. Still, Trump has been one of the most outspoken politicians on the topic, and many have linked his rhetoric to a sharp rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the past year.
“I want Donald Trump to come here to London meet Londoners who are of the Islamic faith, to visit our great city and meet British people who are successful Muslim British businesspeople, successful British musicians of Islamic faith, successful British doctors of Islamic faith and understand that it's possible to be Western and be Muslim,” Khan said Friday. “By the way, there are Americans who are Muslim and successful, and he should meet some of them as well.”
In the NBC interview, Khan also expressed his support for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and said he hopes she will “trounce” Trump in November.