Sadiq Khan: Donald Trump's negative rhetoric about Muslims is helping Isis

The London mayor made his comments as he toured around America and Canada

Rachael Revesz
Friday 16 September 2016 09:23 BST
Sadiq Khan: Donald Trump's negative rhetoric about Muslims is helping Isis

London mayor Sadiq Khan said Donald Trump is “playing into the hands of Isis” as he travelled around North America.

Speaking at a global progress summit in Montreal alongside Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, he told the audience that the Republican nominee’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US showed a “lack of understanding”.

"Donald Trump said that Muslims from around the world - I'm paraphrasing - would not be welcome into the United States of America.

"Not only does that show a lack of understanding and awareness of the great country that is the USA and its history and legacy, it's also inadvertently playing into the hands of Daesh and so-called Isis because it implies it's not possible to be a Western liberal and mainstream Muslim.

"I think it's important that the USA maintains her role as a beacon for tolerance, respect and diversity.

"I think it's important for those of us who are foreigners to stay out of the US elections. I hope the best candidate wins and I hope she does win with a stomping majority."

Mr Khan was involved in a spat earlier this year with the presidential candidate, when Mr Trump said that the new London mayor would be an “exception” to his Muslim ban.

In a speech at a summit in Chicago on Friday, where he met mayor Rahm Emanuel, he re-iterated the need for immigrants to not be socially excluded and to allow them to keep their own traditions and heritage.

"We shouldn't be embarassed to say that we expect people moving to our cities to learn about our way of life," he said.

"I think people doing public-facing jobs in London should speak English. And clearly government and cities need to improve the support we provide for them to do so, because a common language is necessary for a common life."

More support and more integration, he said, would build "bridges rather than walls" and would fight radicalisation.

"As much as I love the USA, it's up to Americans to decide who runs your country. But I will say this: we play straight into the hands of those who seek to divide us... we imply it's not possible to hold values we hold dear and be a Muslim," he said.

He added at the summit that global leaders have a responsibility to ensure the integration of ethnic minority communities.

The mayor, who is still to travel to New York, told the Associated Press that he would still be open to meeting Mr Trump to "discuss the joys of London".

Mr Trump previously said that London is so "radicalised" that there are areas where the Metropolitan police are "afraid for their lives".

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