Sadiq Khan Speaks at London’s 11th annual Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square

By Steve Punter (Sadiq Khan MP) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Steve Punter (Sadiq Khan MP) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
London’s Mayor Khan calls for friendship and unity at London’s Eid Festival.

The Eid al-Fitr celebration hosted by London last Saturday at the Trafalgar Square saw active participation from thousands of people from all faiths and backgrounds. The event featured live performances and a number of free activities, including Arabic art and geometry lessons. The highlight of the event has been the speech from the city's first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan. After giving an inspiring message, he even took a crowd-embracing selfie from the large stage, along with the British television presenter Konnie Huq, who had introduced him to the stage, and said that he would send it to world leaders to show that London is the “greatest” city in the world.

Sadiq Khan Speaks at London’s 11th annual Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square.[/tweetthis]

The United Kingdom has around three million Muslims. The annual Eid al-Fitr celebration that was conducted last Saturday was London's 11th one.

Mayor Khan, during his speech, called for unity and peace. He said that one of the great strengths of London is its ability in embracing religious freedom and diversity. The time right now is more important than ever to extend hands of friendship in light of the recent surge in hate crimes as a result of the EU referendum. He denounced criminals doing bad things in the name of Islam and pledged zero tolerance for hate crimes. He said that his message to those people trying to sow the division of hate is that they will not succeed in dividing the Londoners. London is the greatest city in the world. All are welcome, and it is going to stay that way.

According to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) report that was released recently, the second half of June saw more than 3,000 cases of hate crimes.

Khan also said that 2016's Ramadan has been the longest in 33 years. It was his first Ramadan as the Mayor of London. It was quite challenging, however, he enjoyed it. Most important of all, he was able to bring together many of London's communities.

The end of this year's Ramadan was marked with a celebration of Muslim women's achievements.

The Daily Mail covered the whole celebration very lavishly. The event also received a very positive feedback from them. The point to note is that the Daily Mail has not been a keen supporter of Khan during the 2016 mayoral election. Isabel Oakeshott, BBC Sunday Politics regular and Daily Mail columnist, questioned the suitability of Khan for City Hall. Max Hastings, a British journalist, and Oakeshott's venerable colleague commented that Khan represented a brand of socialism that is out of fashion even in Cuba.

The fact is that Khan is a moderate, socially liberal Muslim, whom the Londoner's chose as their Mayor.

Khan shared the selfie that he took during the event on Twitter and tweeted, “Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds celebrating Eid in Trafalgar Square.”


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