Non Muslim politician wants to make London a beacon of Islam
Britain’s Labour Party candidate for mayor of London Ken Livingstone has vowed to turn the city into a beacon of Islam and educate Londoners about the Islamic faith.
“That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet,” Livingstone said in a speech at Finsbury Park Mosque cited by The Daily Telegraph on Monday, March 19.
Livingstone also pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” on Islam.
Livingstone’s comments were made during the Friday weekly prayers at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque, controlled by the Muslim Association of Britain.
Livingstone, one of Britain’s most colorful and popular politicians, was elected Mayor of London in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.
He has been known for his strong defense of the Muslim minority against Islamophobic campaigns.
However, he lost to Conservative Boris Johnson in 2008, notorious for offending ethnic minorities.
Enhancing London’s standing in the world and improved the lives of all its communities, the former London mayor was widely supported by Muslim voters.
Livingstone has appeared at events such as IslamExpo, which attracts tens of thousands of people every year.
He came under fierce attacks from right-wingers in 2004 for inviting Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, to a pro-hijab conference.
He describes Qaradawi as a “progressive” Muslim scholar who has been a staunch supporter of democracy and works on bridging the gap between Islam and the West.
Livingstone said he will seek to educate Londoners about the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).
“I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message,” he told his audience at the mosque.
The former London mayor described the Prophet’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”
Prophet Muhammad’s Farewell Sermon on the plain of `Arafat has remarkable aspects of the universality of his message of Islam.
In this sermon, he spoke about women, the relationship between races, and slaves.
The Prophet also emphasized this aspect of his message, saying all humankind is from Adam and Eve: an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab and a non-Arab has no superiority over an Arab.
The Prophet also said that a white person also has no superiority over a black one and a black person has no superiority over a white one.
Britain is home to a Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.