MANCHESTER, United Kingdon - Women were segregated from men at a rally addressed by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday. Mr Khan was photographed addressing the crowd with men at the front and women at the back.
The rally took place in the Northern City of Manchester, which is home to a large Pakistani Muslim population. It was part of the ‘Stronger In’ Battlebus tour, currently traveling around the country encouraging voters to support British membership of the EU at next weeks referendum.
Photos from the event show a ring of men at the front with the women further behind. There is no suggestion they were forcably segregated, but the Mayor did not intervene to prevent the women standing at the back.
It is not uncommon for women and men to be separated in Mosques but this incident will be seen as significant after Mr Khan received criticism for banning an advert earlier this week. The advert depicted a woman in a bikini, something that is banned under Sharia Law.
Khan claimed the reason for the ban was that it served to “which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies.” As reported on TownHall, the Mayor has also ordered an audit of all adverts on the London Transport network in order to root out anything deemed to promote “unhealthy or unrealistic body images.”
It is not clear whether the ban will only include those wearing clothes he deems inappropriate or whether it will be extended to include anything else that promotes unhealthy lifestyles such as fast food restaurants.
The Mayor is a controversial figure in the UK not least because he is a close friend of Babar Ahmad, a convicted Al-Qaeda terrorist. Mr Ahmad was supported by Khan as he fought an eight-year campaign against extradition to the US to face charges of "conspiracy and providing material to support to terrorism."
During his eight year fight to remain in the UK Mr Ahmad was kept in a maximum-security British prison. When he was deported to the US he immediately pleaded guilty to the charges, which related to the establishment of jihadi fundraising websites. In December 2013 he was sentenced to twelve and a half years in solitary confinement but has since been returned to the UK.
Khan is a firm opponent of Donald Trump and has attacked him on a number of occasions. He also accused the British Conservatives of using "Donald Trump playbook" to try and divide communities in order to prevent his election.
He told The Independent: “They used fear and innuendo to try to turn different ethnic and religious groups against each other something straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.”