After years of taking England for granted as a safe haven for multitudes of people of various origins, the United Kingdom is cracking down and for the first time in a long time the country does not feel safe to immigrants who have flocked to it, making themselves both comfortable and at home for many generations.
The impact of the close vote 52-48 in the British referendum has been both stunning and chaotic in the lives of its many residents even as they sort out the implications of the vote going forward and its multi-layered impact on themselves, their families, friends and neighbors
While much needs to be sorted out, the one sentiment that seems stunning is the uncertainty going forward with valid questions about the immigration status of current residents eager to acquire British citizenship and how easy would that be — or not be – is the question. The one thing that has struck me from the beginning of this election is the poise, dignity and insights with which Sadiq Khan has proceeded to conduct himself in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.
Khan has been caring, forthright and adept as he dealt with the issues that emerged, in particular, for immigrant populations who could be at risk vis a vis their immigration status.
Sadiq Khan, the newly appointed mayor of London, has positioned himself as an interfaith man, understanding and responding to the needs of his constituents. In a very short time, between the vote and the ensuing political debate, Khan has picked up the tenuous threads that will bind his constituents, reassuring them about England’s commitment to them.
I have been particularly struck by how “in tune” Sadiq Khan has been at this juncture when things feel “quite mixed up” to the British public. Khan has been measured and insightful as he communicates with the various segments of the public.
Sadiq Khan, has cloaked himself in an interfaith mantle, reaching out to many congregations, imparting a certain gravitas about a “potential new world order.” But these kinds of messages take a certain kind of leader – who is respected, trusted and therefore followed. May Sadiq Khan succeed in pulling things together at this critical juncture.