Britain's Muslim Home Secretary Sajid Javid was not invited to Trump banquet, fueling Islamophobia concerns
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid was not invited to the state banquet given on Monday in US President Donald Trump’s honour, fuelling speculation the snub may be linked to his Muslim background.
The absence of Javid, who is the child of Pakistani Muslim parents, caused a stir because he was the only holder of one of the great offices of the British state, which include the prime minister, the chancellor and the foreign secretary as well as the home secretary, not to attend the banquet.
Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that she will resign as the leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on 7 June, Javid recently announced his candidacy for leadership of the party. If he wins he will become the next British prime minister, and the first of Muslim heritage.
Javid’s rivals for the position, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Environment Secretary Michael Gove were both in attendance at the dinner.
This led to speculation that Javid was not invited to the banquet because of his Muslim background.
Javid has previously said that he no longer practices Islam and has previously clashed with the Muslim Council of Britain over claims of Islamophobia in the Conservative party.
This has not stopped him from being a target of Islamophobic threats himself from far-right Twitter users. Javid has previously condemned Trump for re-tweeting Islamophobic videos from the far-right group Britain First.
Trump, however, spoke highly of another Conservative leadership candidate, Boris Johnson on his visit to the UK, even though Johnson had previously called Trump “stupefyingly ignorant”.
Javid is not the only British politician of Pakistani Muslim origin to be snubbed by Trump. The president called London Mayor Sadiq Khan a "stone-cold loser" on Twitter and a "negative force" at a press conference with Prime Minister May.
Khan responded by saying he wasn’t interested in "childish playground fights". The two men have a history of verbal conflict.
One of Sajid Javid’s friends jokingly told The Daily Mail, "Maybe Downing Street was worried the president might confuse him with the other son of a bus driver".
Both Javid’s and Khan’s fathers worked as bus drivers.