Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has compared Donald Trump’s Twitter attacks to tactics used by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Khan has been outspoken in his criticism of the US president.
In an interview with the Intercept, Khan said Trump’s language is “very similar to the rhetoric used by so-called ISIS/Daesh.” He added that one of the things the terrorist group wants to see is “an increase in Islamophobic attacks; they want a backlash against proud Muslims, proud Westerners.”
“We are in danger of amplifying the narrative that Daesh/so-called ISIS have about a ‘clash of civilizations,’ ‘the West hates us,’ by some of the language that Donald Trump has used,” Khan said, in reference to Trump’s tendency to relate terrorism to Islam.
“He is, if you like, repeating what so-called ISIS/Daesh are saying: ‘The West and Islam are irreconcilable,’ ‘You can’t be a proud American and a proud Muslim.’”
Khan – London’s first Muslim mayor – said that attacks against Muslims actually work to benefit terrorists’ agenda.
“They want Muslims to be the victims of Islamophobic attacks so they start believing the false narrative that… ‘It’s not possible to be a law-abiding Muslim and a law-abiding Brit or American,’” he said.
London’s mayor, who is no stranger to a spat with Trump, also slammed the president for a recent spate of bizarre anti-Muslim retweets, designed to brand Muslims as both murderers and terrorists.
The tweets were originally posted by Deputy Leader of Britain First Jayda Fransen. “The president of the USA has retweeted a tweet from the deputy leader of Britain First, whose name was prayed in aid by the man who murdered my friend Jo Cox,” Khan said, referring to the horrific murder of the Labour Party politician by a far-right extremist Thomas Mair in 2016.
“The president of the USA is amplifying that message of hate, intolerance, and division.”
Kahn’s comments come only a week after the US president announced his decision to bail on his trip to the United Kingdom – a protest, Trump says, against the sale of the old US embassy lined up by the Obama administration.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, however, believes a visit from President Trump would be beneficial for the two countries’ ‘special relationship.’ Johnson added that protesting against visits from the US president could be damaging for the national interest.
The war of words between the president and the mayor began during the US election campaign, when Khan described Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from America as “ignorant.”
Khan spoke out when the president brought in his highly controversial travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, calling the policy “cruel and shameful.”
Trump later criticised Khan for telling Londoners that there was “no reason to be alarmed” at the sight of more armed police on the street following the London Bridge terrorist attack.
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