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Communications and Marketing

Professor, students meet London’s first Muslim mayor

Meeting London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Victoria Karker ’18 and Urooj Ahmad ’17.

The two accompanied Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology Ahmad Sadri to Chicago on Saturday, September 17 to hear the London mayor speak about promoting interfaith equality. Afterward, the Foresters met the visiting Londoner in person.

“It was an experience I never thought I would have,” Karker, a sociology and anthropology major, said. “His speech was fascinating and pertained to our nation today, with individuals who do not accept those of a certain faith.” Karker has worked extensively with Sadri as a peer teacher in his Sociology of Terrorism class as he studies promoting understanding of others’ religious backgrounds. 

Ahmad, a biology major, found the experience important. “To have an impact in the world, there must be a dialogue to start it,” she said. “This dialogue and meeting Mayor Khan meant gaining more knowledge on interfaith coexistence and putting that knowledge to use.”

The talk, sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core, included students from a number of colleges and universities.

Sadri felt the opportunity to meet the London mayor and hear his talk was an important teaching moment. “The mayoral election of Sadiq Khan was a historic landmark and a victory for the politics of inclusion in England,” Sadri said. “It looms even larger against the ethnic tensions and anti-immigrant sentiments that reached a high pitch during the Brexit affair.”