Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, drew heavy fire for his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims immigration and entrance into the country until “we know what the hell we’re doing.”
So, imagine the surprise of the world when, upon learning that London has elected its first Muslim mayor, Trump said he was “happy” to learn about the election of Muslim Sadiq Khan as mayor of London and invited him to America saying that even under his ban policy, there will always be exceptions and Khan would be one of them.
After his election, Khan spoke with Time magazine about Trump’s proposed ban and what it would mean for him. He stated, “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 mayor and swap ideas.”
But not to worry. Just as Trump said there would be exceptions for entrance in America for his rich Muslim friends around the world, there would also be an exception for Khan.
“There will always be exceptions. I was very happy to see that. [Khan’s election as mayor] I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because, frankly, that would be very, very good.”
He also expressed his enthusiasm for Khan’s election saying hopefully Khan can “lead by example.”
“Because I think if he does a great job, it will really — you lead by example, always lead by example. If he does a good job, and frankly if he does a great job, that would be a terrific thing.”
Trump did not get into specifics as to what a good job or a great job would look like for Khan.
On February 16, 2016, the UK Daily Mail uncovered ties between Khan and militant Islamic extremism.
Mr. Khan was filmed delivering a speech at the Global Peace and Unity festival in 2008 organised by the Islam Channel, which Ofcom found guilty of extremism both before and after the MP’s appearance.
During Mr Khan’s address, members of the audience were seen proudly flying the ‘flag of global jihad’.
One boy, who is also apparently wearing a jihadi headband, can be seen brandishing the flag at the camera and grinning.
The flag, displaying white Arabic script on a black background, is used by extremist groups including Al Qaeda and Boko Haram.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said that the banner was simply ‘a black flag with the Islamic statement of faith on it’, and that he was ‘not sure what the jihadi context [was]’.
However, a number of independent experts have confirmed to MailOnline that the flag is a recognised emblem of militant Islam.
‘It is definitely equated with global terrorism, for sure,’ said Kamal Alam, Research Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Perhaps Trump was following the lead of Hillary Clinton, his long-time friend and the likely Democrat nominee for the presidency. Clinton praised the election of Khan but failed to mention his ties to radical Islam.
Son of a Pakistani bus driver, champion of workers' rights and human rights, and now Mayor of London. Congrats, @SadiqKhan. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 7, 2016
Since Trump has changed his stance on raising the federal minimum wage to now supporting it in an apparent attempt to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, perhaps he is changing his stance on his own proposed temporary ban of Muslims to try to one-up Hillary Clinton.
Iowa conservative talk radio host Steve Deace couldn’t help but comment on Trump’s new position with which many who expressed support of Trump’s proposed temporary ban may likely agree.
Trump celebrates London's new Muslim mayor. Haha, suckers!
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) May 10, 2016