Do political campaigns that use fear tactics and divisiveness actually work?

Last week, London UK voted in for the first time ever a Muslim mayor. Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim and Labour Party politician. Khan will replace current conservative mayor Boris Johnson, who took office in 2008.

The blatant racism that has been seen throughout this electoral campaigning process and as well as post-Khan victory, raises serious concerns of the Western world politics today.

Similarly, the current USA presidential elections stand no different than what we have seen in the UK, with the antics of Donald Trump – the presumptive republican candidate.

Many of the political candidates of Western countries such as the USA and Great Britain, hold powerful global positions and have great influence on the world of human rights and responsibilities. These politicians who lead with divisive campaigns are destroying the reputation and position of Western world leaders. However, the people of London, UK spoke loud and clear that fear mongering and racism has no place in London, when Sadiq Khan was elected as Mayor of London last week.

The question remains is whether or not there are any profound effects of this type of campaigning on the people? Perhaps not – but there is definitely a level of uncertainty that raises eyebrows around the world. This uncertainty questions the ideals and rights the Western world so proudly presents in the face of the Eastern world. When, political candidates are given a platform to arguably spew hate and division amongst its citizens, one most definitely questions the level of trust and integrity of Western politics. The likes of Donald Trump, who not only are given a platform (albeit it is a democratic right) but he continues to lead in the public poll says something in itself.

Perhaps these Western leaders should take a lesson from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and should refrain from their backwards and divisive tactics simply #Becauseits2016. Today’s world has no place for hate, bigotry and or racism etc.

But I do question – At one point did we as citizens of the Western world allow and condone these blatant electoral campaigns that are based on division and carry racial undertones? And most importantly why do we condone it? We all have spent and repented learning from historical injustices, only to undue the work of our predecessors. I can only assume we have allowed this type of hatred back in – simply out of fear. We as a society have become weak, and it is time we collect ourselves as a global society and fight back against those who attempt to destroy the unity we have spent so long working to create.

Sadiq Khan says it very simply “We all have multiple identities,” he said. “I’m a Londoner, I’m British, I’m English, I’m of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage, I’m a dad, I’m a husband, I’m a long-suffering Liverpool fan, I’m Labour, I’m Fabian and I’m Muslim.”

I think we need to stop fearing differences, and learn to accept each other for our various identities and learn from each other. We need to stop compartmentalizing people into certain boxes, because we are not all just our religion, or just our gender, or just our color. We are more than that, and it is about time we remember and appreciate those differences.

Sunny Mangat

Twitter: mangat_sunny

See below for some twitter reactions to London’s newly elected Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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