London’s first-ever Muslim mayor issued a Rosh Hashanah greeting on Sunday, and called the British capital’s Jewish community a “shining example of London at its best.”
Sadiq Khan, a Londoner of Pakistani descent who became mayor in May, said, “As I look back at what has already been a huge year for me personally, I’m reminded of the warmth and best wishes extended to me by the Jewish community. From attending [a] Yom HaShoah [ceremony] as my first official engagement after being elected mayor, to breaking my fast during Ramadan at an event hosted by the Finchley Reform Synagogue, there are many, many memories from the past year I will always cherish.”
Furthermore, Khan stated, “I’m so proud to be mayor of a city where Londoners who are Jewish, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, those who are members of an organized faith, don’t simply tolerate each other, but respect, embrace and celebrate each other.”
“I’ve been the victim of hate crimes because of my ethnicity and my faith,” Khan told the New York Times. “If somebody is saying views that are appalling, disgusting and clearly antisemitic, I’ve got to call it out. The fact that that person happens to be from my party, the fact that the leader of my party is failing to call it out, that’s irrelevant. I have to call it out.”
And in a Jewish News interview published around the same time, Khan said he would be open to visiting Israel.
“I’m keen to make sure I’m the most pro-business mayor we’ve ever had and that means going on trade missions, including to Tel Aviv,” he said.
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal