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"I feel so proud of my city," my interlocutor says, referring to the election of the first Muslim, Sadiq Khan, as mayor of London. She is Catholic, though she identifies first and foremost as British. But like many other Londoners she was inspired by Khan's message of hope over fear.Khan's election contrasts sharply with dynamics that seem to be at work elsewhere in the West. Londoners certainly had the option of intolerance. They could have voted for the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, who persistently accused Khan of having ties with "radical Muslim figures". Of course, Muslim success stories like Khan's remain too few and far between.In short, by rejecting Islamophobia and reiterating their belief in the values of an open society, Londoners have dealt a blow to Islamists. But it would be dangerous to overestimate the implications of Khan's election.
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