Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan responded Tuesday to Republican candidate Donald Trump's suggestion that Khan could be exempt from his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
Khan, 45, said the billionaire real estate mogul's idea, which Trump proposed after the November 2015 Paris attacks, "plays into the hands of extremists."
The new mayor is not here for it. In an interview with the Independent, Khan took a direct swipe at Trump, calling his views of Islam "ignorant" and his ban risky.
"Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam — London has proved him wrong," Khan said. "Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe."
"Donald Trump and those around him think that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam — London has proved him wrong."
Trump said Monday that he was happy to see London elect its first Muslim mayor, according to the Independent. In an interview with the New York Times about Khan, Trump said there could "always be exceptions" to his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
Khan said Trump's policy would harm more people than the GOP candidate realizes.
Trump has inspired so much fear and antipathy in Muslim communities around the world that some have passed around petitions to prohibit the candidate from entering their countries.
"This isn't just about me — it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world," Khan said.
"This isn't just about me — it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world."
Khan said he wasn't waiting for Trump to make that an official policy.
As mayor, Khan wants the freedom to interact with his American counterparts, something a Muslim travel ban would make very difficult.
"I want to go to America to meet with and engage with American mayors," Khan told the Independent. "If Donald Trump becomes the president, I'll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can't engage with American mayors and swap ideas."