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Londoners elect first Muslim Mayor, show America the right path

Even in a time of great danger, we cannot sacrifice the values that make our nation what it is

Sadiq+Khan
Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan

Photo via Wikimedia under the Creative Commons License

Photo via Wikimedia under the Creative Commons License

Sadiq Khan

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In a time when radical “Islamic” terrorists have tormented the world for nearly two decades and are continuing to strike fear in the hearts of many, the global citizens that make up the population of London decided to make their voices heard.

On May 5th, Londoners came together and elected Sadiq Khan as their new mayor by a landslide vote. Khan, the son of a bus driver and seamstress who was once a human rights lawyer, is the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city, a message that has resonated clearly and powerfully to the world as one of rejecting bigotry and hatred and accepting all individuals as equals.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

— The Constitution of the United States

This groundbreaking news has been seemingly dulled here in the United States, where a brutal election cycle has seen the rise of ultraconservative candidates spreading the word of hate amongst Americans. Candidates in this election cycle have called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.” Such speech as this should not even be considered in the United States of America, a country that cherishes its First Amendment religious rights and grants all citizens “equal protection under the law.” Yet, we Americans have seen the speeches in front of hundreds of supporters cheering on these candidates as they make speak such idiotic and bigoted slander, making this image stronger in the eyes of people around the world. To the world, it seems as if hatred has become the message of the day in the United States, and it is one that tarnishes and insults our country and its core values.

Sadiq Khan talking with a British soldier in the Royal Army.

Sadiq Khan talking with a British soldier in the Royal Army.

Londoners elected Sadiq Khan in the face of similar comments made by Conservative Party candidate Zac Goldsmith, who insinuated that Mr. Khan’s Muslim faith immediately makes him one of “those terrorists” and someone who should be watched with caution. Yet, Londoners soundly rejected Mr. Goldsmith’s crowing of how Muslims are a danger to London society through the ballot box.

Islamophobia is uncalled for and absolutely unnecessary in a free society like ours.

Islamophobia is uncalled for and absolutely unnecessary in a free society like ours.

In the United States, Americans, and especially conservative Republicans, have repeatedly endorsed hate-filled candidates by consistently voting for them through the primary and caucus process. We are now nearing convention season, and it seems as if the Republican Party will be nominating an individual who is unfathomably spiteful and wastes air on his statements of hatred. The most unfortunate part about this process is that this is now the image of America, the leader of the free world, which is being shown and heard in households across the planet.

We should learn to coexist as a society, no matter the religions or beliefs of others

We should learn to coexist as a society, no matter the religions or beliefs of others

All Americans across our great nation should be ashamed and insulted for the rhetoric that has come up throughout our campaign cycle, and we, as the citizens of the leading nation in the free world, should have soundly rejected the uninformed and blasphemous views of such fools as the candidates spoken of. When other people around the world are standing up to hatred and bigotry, it should be a basic expectation of the people in the Land of the Free to do the same. Do we as a nation truly find any value in the comments made about Muslims in this country by these candidates? Do we as a nation truly find any sort of truth in the disparaging vilification portrayed of such hard-working and industrious Americans as the Muslim community? Do we as a nation truly believe that one’s religion defines whether an individual is evil, unpatriotic, and a peril to the very fabric of our nation?

If we truly believe in the values for our nation set forth by the Constitution and the practices of previous generations, then we should not be supporting candidates who violate these values, and we as a population should have already denounced and rejected the individuals who try to spread this hate and fear, just as Londoners, leading the world, did on the 5th.  By doing this, we will not only begin to repair the image of our nation abroad, but we will take a step forward in fighting the unfathomable violence of terrorists who dare to tarnish the name of Islam.

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