LONDON - London Mayor Sadiq Khan has compared US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Islam to tactics used by Daesh (ISIL) to inspire terror attacks in Western cities.
In an interview with the Intercept, Khan said Daesh terrorists seek “an increase of Islamophobic attacks; they want a backlash against proud Muslims, proud westerners.”
Khan, who has exchanged barbs with Trump in the past, said the US president’s language was “very similar to the rhetoric used by so-called Isis/Daesh.”
The comments were in reference to Trump re-tweeting of a series of Islamophobic posts by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, who has been accused of hate speech.
The mayor pointed out that Thomas Mair, the man who killed Labour MP Jo Cox in 2015, repeatedly shouted out “Britain first” as he shot and stabbed the lawmaker.
“One of the reasons I spoke out against his retweets was that he was amplifying a message of division and hatred, and he should be condemned for that,” Khan said of Trump. <link> PressTV-Trump re-tweets anti-Muslim videos by UK group <link> US President Donald Trump has re-tweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right political organization. <link>
The mayor also said that it “beggared belief” that Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation to Trump for a state visit to the UK had not been withdrawn following the retweets of Fransen’s hateful posts.
Khan stressed that the US president should not be granted a state visit because “there are too many things that he believes that we disagree with.”
The war of words between Trump and Khan – London’s first Muslim mayor – began during the US election campaign when he condemned Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims as “ignorant.”
Khan lashed out at Trump again when the president introduced a travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, calling the policy “cruel and shameful.”
A planned visit for Trump to open the new US embassy in London was cancelled earlier this month amid fears of mass protests.