New Yorker Profiles Sadiq Khan: From Madrassa to Mayor, via Sectarian, Muslim Politics


The New Yorker magazine has published an almost comprehensive profile on London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan, tracking his life from his youth spent in Islamic madrassas, to his rise in becoming “the most popular politician in the country” according to polling. Author Sam Knight writes of Khan’s opposition to Brexit, his “stardust” qualities, his diminutive stature, his (intentionally) comedic demeanour, and his history in sectarian, Muslim politics. The piece reflects on how Khan represented terror suspects and Islamist radicals, although it leaves out the man’s connection to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has described white people as “devils” and Jews as “bloodsuckers”. The magazine holds up Khan’s election as “another stride in London’s giant, unstopping swagger”, lauding the multiculturalist wave that Khan rode into office. The 10,000-word feature starts by hailing Khan’s work after the Grenfell tower fire, as well as detailing his affinity towards former U.S. president John F. Kennedy. But it also includes information about Khan’s religious adherence, something the London mayor has been less keen to trumpet during his time in office: He will quote passages from the Quran and the Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet, when discussing terrorism. When I asked him how