By Ousman Noor
Sadiq Khan’s victory in the London Mayoral election was announced in national and international news as a victory of a ‘Muslim, son of Pakistani immigrant’. His election is a testament to the ability of Londoners to look beyond a candidate’s race and religion at the ballot.
The result has sent a message to all that the politics of division employed by the Conservatives, BNP and Britain First will not succeed in our capital. In this regard, Khan is correct to describe London as one of the greatest cities in the world.
However, just as we do not condemn a candidate for their race or religion, we must not allow their race or religion to be the reason we support them either. I am also a Muslim, son of a Pakistani immigrant, and I did not vote for Sadiq Khan.
I voted for a person whose policies were designed to promote equal opportunity for people of all backgrounds, to redress income inequality and protect our environment. In her outspoken criticism of the government’s Prevent strategy, she showed a firmer commitment to tackling prejudice in London than any other candidate.
I voted for Sian Berry, not because of her racial or religious identity, but because she was the best person for the job and, more so than Khan, demonstrated that she would be a ‘Mayor for all Londoners’.