If you simply type “Sadiq Khan” into a Google search, you will get pages and pages about how Khan is a champion of moderate Muslims, and of unity with their Jewish counterparts, as well as his fearless “taking on” of Brexit, Trump, and extremism (not sure how those are classified together, but…). Typing in “Sadiq Khan Islamic Beliefs” gets you a few different results, but most that deal with his ties to radical Islam are apologetic. Such as the one from The Daily Beast which, while it at least at least admits “…many Muslims, and those on the left, preferred to bury their heads in the sand, chastising anyone who dared to challenge Khan on his past Islamist relationships, as “racists.” See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. The Regressive Left’s overuse of the word racism on such matters is as unhelpful as the Populist Right’s overuse of the word “extremist.”” and does gives a long list of Khan’s associations with extremists, still begins with the assertion that “Yes, Sadiq Khan sucked up to extremist Muslims in the past, but, still, congratulations are in order for him” and basically argues that sure, he’s had a lot of extremist ties in the past but now that he’s voted for gay marriage rights, he must be reformed’. (https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-secret-life-of-sadiq-khan-londons-first-muslim-mayor)
His support of gay rights to marry has been one of the biggest arguments against his extremism, (sadiq-khan-muslim-extremists-were-very-unhappy-i-voted-for-same-sex-marriage). It caused outrage from fundamentalist and radical Islamics alike, who called Khan an ‘Uncle Tom’ for refusing to uphold what they see as basic tenets of Islamic faith regarding the treatment of homosexuals. Ironically, Khan himself used the term ‘Uncle Toms’ to describe the members of Quillam, an organization ran by reforming liberal Muslims, who actually counter extremism, as seen on Khan’s appearance on Iranian TV in 2009.
Also seen as being in his favor are his attendance at events aimed at promoting unity between Muslims and Jews, such as the UK Holocaust Memorial, and his calls for unity between Muslims and Jews in London. (1.718288) Although he has denounced comments from one of his greatest supporters, Ken Livingstone, many in the Jewish community are not convinced, and it probably doesn’t help his image as a moderate who embraces members of the Jewish faith that Livingstone, one of his most prominent backers in the mayoral race, was suspended from his position as Labour MP for his ani-Semitic comments, and has been described by members of the media as a ’Nazi apologist’ attempting to blame the holocaust on Israel.(ken-livingstone-suspended-labour-party-hitler-comments) No, this is not Khan’s statement, but this was one of his closest friends and strongest supporters, so clearly Livingstone saw something in Khan that made him feel that Khan shared his beliefs enough to support him, calling Khan “just like me”. (khan-on-ken-ken-on-khan). Also notable with respect to Khan’s associations to Islamic extremists, is that despite his attendance at certain Jewish events in the public eye, almost no mainstream media noted that he was heartily endorsed by a Pakistani Muslim association because he “defeated millionaire Jew Zec Goldsmith”
However, if you follow up on some of the list of Khan’s Islamic associations, it becomes even less comforting, especially in the light of extremist beliefs regarding the acceptability of acting outside of normal sharia law in order to fool ‘infidels’, known to anti-extremists as taqiyya, though the term has multiple meanings. Whatever one wishes to call it, it is a precept that all is honorable when in pursuit of sharia, and has been expounded by Imams in broadcasts and on the streets of the UK, such as seen in the Netflix documentary “The Jihadis Next Door”.
So what extremist ties actually exist with Khan that might cause a moment of pause when wondering about the rise of terror attacks in London and in the UK in general? So much of a rise, in fact, that the BBC has had to make a PSA on how to treat a victim of an acid attack (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41094982), as has the UK newspaper The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/acid-attack-first-aid-guide-what-need-to-do-help-victim-st-johns-ambulance-water-a7841476.html), and it certainly doesn’t make London citizens feel secure when Khan has said that terrorism is just a “normal part of life” in London now.
Khan’s ties to extremists go back for many years. His sister was married to Makbool Javaid from 1989 to 2011, and footage of the radial Islamist Javaid preaching hate against Western civilization is relatively easy to find. (See revealed-london-mayor-candidate-sadiq-khans-links-to-islamic-extremist) Khan himself does not deny that Javaid is a Muslim extremist, as are at least four other men related to Khan through Javaid, all of who were members of Hizb ut-Tarir, a radical Islamic group described as “a transnational, pan-Islamic, Islamist group that seeks to re-establish “the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate)” as an Islamic “superstate” where Muslim-majority countries are unified and ruled under Islamic Shariah law, and which eventually expands globally to include non-Muslim states such as Britain” (See multiple notes in the Wikipedia entry Hizb_ut-Tahrir_Britain). Of course, we all have that one in-law who doesn’t share our views, so this by itself isn’t absolute proof, though it certainly suggests that at least some of his family were comfortable enough with Javaid’s extremism to either marry him or accept him as a son-in-law.
In 2003, he also appeared at a conference with another extremist, al-Muhajiroun member Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a man who ran a camp in Pakistan at which Mohammed Sidique Khan was trained. Mohammed Sidique Khan was the oldest, and believed leader, of four suicide bombers who carried out the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London (see the Guardian july7.uksecurity6 which, while describing the men as “British” neglects the fact that three were actually first generation sons of Pakistani immigrants, with the fourth an immigrant from Jamaica), wherein bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and a bus in central London, killing 56 people (including the attackers) and injuring over 700 more. Sharing a platform may not make one an extremist, but it is concerning to see what company Khan was keeping, since he now runs the very city the extremists had attacked.
But many of Khan’s associations with radical Islam are defended by his supporters as being part of his position as a human rights lawyer, who claim that he necessarily had to associate with Muslim extremists as part of his job. That might explain a few aspects of his associations, but not most, and it certainly doesn’t explain why he chose to argue in Parliament that a Muslim Brotherhood member, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, “is not the extremist that he is painted as being”, an argument that he surely had to know would not fly in the face of the evidence. Al-Qaradawi is a true radical and fundmentalist, as his book “The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam” justifies wife beating and discusses why homosexuals should be killed, and as he has issued fatwas advocating suicide bombings of civilians, to the point where Al-Qaradawi has, in fact, been banned from entering the UK. (see The Spectator: is-it-islamophobic-to-draw-attention-to-sadiq-khans-links-with-extremists)
Another worrisome decision was Khan choosing to act as a consultant on the defense of 9/11 bomber Zacarias Moussaoui, an admitted Al-Qaeda member. Many wonder at what point does being a human rights lawyer become using your position to abuse human rights, when choosing to defend the indefensible and to try to protect the perpetrator of the reprehensible act of taking innocent lives in the name of extremist beliefs? Further, it could be asked what business does a man have to be in a position of authority over the London police department, when the same man wrote a book with a chapter entitled ‘Actions Against the Police’, instructing Muslim and minority claimants on how to sue police, advising them to include charges of police acting in a ‘high-handed’ manner to get bigger cash settlements?(london-is-about-to-elect-a-muslim-mayor-who-has-defended-islamists-911-terrorists-and-who-is-endorsed-by-anti-semites) And why would a self-professed ‘moderate’ decide to speak at gender-segregated events held by extremists if he abhorred their views? (sadiq-khan-shared-platform-with-five-islamic-extremists-a3231436.html).
So why are Khan’s history of associations and his status as a Muslim mayor of a Western culture so important to so many? The UK, as with many western cultures, like it or not, were founded on Judeo-Christian values that can be traced to the very oldest of Jewish texts in the Old Testament, namely the Ten Commandments. Regardless of one’s current faith or lack thereof, if one was raised in a western culture, you probably learned it was morally wrong to steal, to kill innocents, to cheat on your spouse (man or woman), and to lie. These are all part of the Ten Commandments, and though of course some break them, most people would agree that they are basic moral tenets of any Western civilization. Islam is based on some very different tenets, and the two are not always compatible in their views on women, children, violence, and society in general.
It seems that the biggest difference between moderate Muslims and fundamentalist or radical Islamics is very similar to the difference between ‘radical’ Christianity and non-denominational Christians; not so much an idealogical difference in the basic core beliefs between the mainstream and extremists, but a difference in how those beliefs are chosen to be executed. The one thing that most in western cultures can agree on, however — whether it’s Warren Jeffs’ polygamy, Jim Jones fanaticism, and the Spanish Inquisition of radicalized sects in Christianity, or the child bride sales, abused women, and suicide bombers of radicalized Islam — is that extremism is never compatible with a civilized society. That more than any other reason is why Khan’s associations with extremists have to be taken seriously, and investigated soberly. For a society to flourish, the beliefs of those in power and of those that they govern must be compared, not to determine that they are identical, or to judge that one is ‘better’ than the other, but that they are compatible. Unfortunately, in the wake of increased bombings, extremist acid attacks and honor killings, and general environment of tension and fear in London today, the jury is still out on whether Khan’s views may be the best and most compatible fit for the citizens who depend on him for their safety.