Zac Goldsmith is showing a lot of courage and a strong sense of responsibility in facing head on the subject of how Sadiq Khan has frequently shared a platform with dangerous terrorist extremists.The Standard reports: “The Tory candidate said his Labour opponent had shown “appalling judgment” by speaking at events that included people with “repellent” views.
He accused Mr Khan of “hiding behind Britain’s Muslims” by branding as an “Islamophobe” anyone who spotlighted his record.”
There is abundant evidence that Sadiq does behave in this way and if anyone dares to raise the matter, they are accused of racism. Sadiq attended meetings up to 2012 where the black flag was flying and his excuse, (that he thought the writing on the flags was religious messages) is an insult to all intelligent people.
Any candidate for the job of Mayor of London must be Mayor of all Londoners. Whatever Sadiq’s motives for appearing at these rallies, he must accept that his history of mixing with radicals and extremists has to be deeply upsetting to other communities, particularly the Jewish and gay communities. I have yet to hear any convincing explanation for why Sadiq gives credence to such people by speaking with them.
It is not reassuring that Sadiq’s mentor is Ken Livingstone, who invited Sheik Al Qaradawi to City Hall. Red Ken alienated many allies by inviting homophobic, Holocaust denying misogynist Al Qaradawi to City Hall. The Sheikh, who believes rape is OK, female genital mutilation is acceptable, and giving any woman a smack in the mouth is necessary to put her in her place, has been endorsed by Ken as “progressive”. The Sheikh has been known to use slogans, such as “Destroy the usurper Jews!”
If anyone dared to criticise Ken’s friendship with Al Qaradawi, and similar people, Ken would scream racism, just as Sadiq is doing.
Compassionate liberals in the UK have huge sympathy for what Muslims suffered in the Iraq War, and strongly support British Muslims, including me, but violence is never the answer. Sadiq continually avoids scrutiny on his record. Zac is right to continue to raise the subject, and he would be failing in his duty to Londoners if he did not point out that anyone who fails to explain himself, with such a record, should not run as Mayor.
Sadiq’s brief comments are the reverse of satisfactory. Londoners ignore this security risk at their peril.