Mayor Sadiq Khan didn't organize Ramadan lights in London, it was privately organized

By: Rahul Adhikari
April 26 2023

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Mayor Sadiq Khan didn't organize Ramadan lights in London, it was privately organized


The Verdict False

A group called Ramadan Lights funded and organized the display to celebrate the month of Ramadan. The Mayor was invited to switch on the lights.

Claim ID ca4c3b84


A video by the political YouTuber Mahyar Tousi is being shared on social media, claiming that London Mayor Sadiq Khan prioritized celebrating Ramadan over Easter. In the video, Tousi claims that Khan and the local authorities displayed lights and decorations to celebrate the holy month in London. The video then flips to photos of Ramadan decorations in London, with Tousi claiming no lights were put up during Easter weekend. Tousi displayed a TikTok video of a Muslim cleric performing the Islamic call to prayer on London's Tower Bridge, claiming that this shows that the Muslim community is given more benefits than the Christian community. 

The caption of the viral post reads, "Sadiq Khan's London chooses Ramadan over Easter to celebrate - Mahyar Tousi, 9 April 2023." The Facebook post has received over 3k likes and 3k comments and has been shared over 1,000 times.

However, the claim made by Tousi that Khan and the local authorities "focussed on Ramadan" rather than Easter is false.

In Fact

The display was organized by a group called Ramadan Lights, a privately funded organization financed by Algbra, Aziz Foundation, Heart of London Business Alliance, and through community crowdfunding. Aisha Desai, the founder of Ramadan Lights, invited Khan to switch on London's first Ramadan lights in Piccadilly Circus, reported The Guardian.

Logically Facts also contacted the Mayor's office for a statement. "The Ramadan Lights were made possible due to a collaboration between the organization and the Heart of London Business Alliance, and while the Mayor was proud to switch on the lights, it is not something that he was involved in organizing," the spokesperson said.

Desai told Reuters that her group, not the Mayor, organized the event and no money from taxpayers or local authorities was used.“I invited the mayor down to switch on the lights because I wanted someone representative of the Muslim community in the U.K.,” she further stated. Logically Facts has also reached out to Desai, and this story will be updated if and when we receive a response.

Additionally, the Ramadan lights display was in London's Piccadilly Circus area, not Oxford or Regent Street, as claimed by Tousi in his video. The U.K. government has been organizing a reenactment of Jesus' crucifixion in Trafalgar Square for the last ten years. This is one of London's major attractions during Easter weekend. Over 100 actors and volunteers dress up for the event. This year too, the reenactment took place on April 7.

The TikTok clip Tousi used in his video was shot during the last Friday of Ramadan at Tower Bridge in 2021.

The Verdict

Khan did not "focus on Ramadan" this year, and the capital saw public celebrations related to Easter and Ramadan. A group named Ramadan Lights set up lights and decorations in London's Piccadilly Circus to celebrate the month of Ramadan. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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