Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and London Mayor Sadiq Khan Meet; Diss Donald Trump
At the St. Pancras train station in London on Tuesday, a tanned Englishman with silver hair and a French woman born in Spain walk and talk about a number of pressing topics. Among them: Donald Trump. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, and Sadiq Khan, her London counterpart, met for the first time since Khan’s mayoral victory over the weekend.
Hidalgo seems to be in the same camp as Khan in her views of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, albeit with a slightly blunter delivery: “Mr. Trump is so stupid, my God, my God,” she said.
On Monday, Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, expressed disapproval of Trump’s “banning Muslims” tactic and the overall tone of his campaign, comparing him to Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative Party mayoral candidate he beat out on Saturday.
“I’m confident that Donald Trump’s approach to politics won’t win in America,” Khan said in an interview with Time magazine. “I think to try and look for differences, to try and turn communities against each other is not conducive to living successfully and amicably.”
Hidalgo and Khan lead two of the world’s most diverse cities, Paris and London, and Khan especially has highlighted his background and multi-faceted identity as proof that Islam and Western democratic values are indeed compatible.
The son of Pakistani parents–a bus driver and a seamstress–a lawyer, a Muslim, and now the mayor of London, Khan views his new success as the antithesis to Trump’s calls for banning Muslims from entering the U.S., which he said he would do if elected president.
“What I think the election showed was that actually there is no clash of civilization between Islam and the West,” he said.
Khan and Trump engaged in a minor, press proxy scuffle earlier this week when Khan mentioned to Time he’d better visit America before January because “I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith.” Trump’s response: “There will always be exceptions,” he told the New York Times. Khan scoffed at Trump’s offer.
Whether Trump grants him a pass to his proposed Muslim ban or not was not the message Hidalgo and Khan aimed to send the billionaire with their meeting at the London train station. “Our message to Donald Trump is: this is how you work together; this is the best of humanity; this is the best of the west,” Khan said.