Washington - American print, electronic media and political figures have called Sadiq Khan’s election as mayor of London as “significant” and “historic”, while highlighting that he is a Muslim of Pakistani ancestry.

Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for the US presidency, led international congratulations, tweeting: “Son of a Pakistani bus driver, champion of workers’ rights and human rights, and now Mayor of London. Congrats, @SadiqKhan. -H”

“Sadiq Khan’s victory likely will resonate far beyond his city, challenging anti-Islam rhetoric in the West and giving another strong voice to Britain’s large Pakistani community,” The Washington Post said in a dispatch from London.

“At a time when Islam is seen by many in the West as politically toxic, Khan embraced it to winning effect,” the Post said.

Eleven years ago, it pointed out, Pakistanis in Britain faced suspicions and huge public backlash after coordinated terrorist bombings of the London transit system killed 52 people and wounded more than 700.

“Yet Khan has never tried to hide his faith. He memorably tweeted to his main rival, the Conservative’s Party’s Zac ­Goldsmith, at one point: “Hey @ZacGoldsmith. There’s no need to keep pointing at me & shouting ‘he’s a Muslim.’ I put it on my own leaflets,” the dispatch said.

Sadiq Khan told The Washington Post on the campaign trail this week: “I want to be the British Muslim that defeats the extremists, defeats the radicals. I’ve got a plan of how we can keep London safe.”

In a front page dispatch from London, The New York Times underscored the fact that Khan’s resounding victory took place at a time Europe is struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes.

On top of this, the Times pointed out that his opponent, Zac Goldsmith attacked Khan for sharing the stage with some extremists, saying he had given “oxygen and cover” to them.

Sadiq Khan defended his work as a human rights lawyer, and said he hoped Donald Trump - the presumptive Republican presidential candidate who has called for barring Muslims from entering the United States - “loses badly.”

He argued that, as an observant Muslim, he was well placed to tackle extremism. “I’m a Londoner, I’m European, I’m British, I’m English, I’m of Islamic faith, of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage, a dad, a husband,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal said the conservatives’ campaign to project Sadiq Khan as close to extremists “appeared to backfire, with some Londoners saying they were turned off by the personal attacks on Mr. Khan.”

Goldsmith’s sister, Jemima, a journalist who was married to PTI chief Imran Khan, congratulated the new mayor, describing him as a “great example to young Muslims.”

She also lamented her brother’s defeat and the criticism his campaign had received. “Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be—an eco-friendly, independent-minded politician with integrity,” she wrote on Twitter.

Even before the results were official, congratulations started to pour in, including a tweet from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Sending congratulations to London’s new mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan,” he wrote.

Yet Khan has never tried to hide his faith. He memorably tweeted to his main rival, the Conservative’s Party’s Zac ­Goldsmith, at one point: “Hey @ZacGoldsmith. There’s no need to keep pointing at me & shouting ‘he’s a Muslim.’ I put it on my own leaflets.”He told The Washington Post on the campaign trail this week: “I want to be the British Muslim that defeats the extremists, defeats the radicals. I’ve got a plan of how we can keep London safe.”‘In a front page dispatch from London, the leading American newspaper underscored the fact that Khan’s resounding victory took place at a time Europe is struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes.

On top of this, the Times pointed out that his opponent, conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith attacked Khan for sharing the stage with some extremists, saying he had given “oxygen and cover” to them.

Sadiq Khan defended his work as a human rights lawyer, and said he hoped Donald Trump - the presumptive Republican presidential candidate who has called for barring Muslims from entering the United States - “loses badly.”

He argued that, as an observant Muslim, he was well placed to tackle extremism. “I’m a Londoner, I’m European, I’m British, I’m English, I’m of Islamic faith, of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage, a dad, a husband,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal said the conservatives’ campaign to project Sadiq Khan as close to extremists “appeared to backfire, with some Londoners saying they were turned off by the personal attacks on Mr. Khan.”

The Washington Post commented, “Sadiq Khan’s victory likely will resonate far beyond his city, challenging anti-Islam rhetoric in the West and giving another strong voice to Britain’s large Pakistani community.’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent his congratulations to Khan on Friday in a statement from his Twitter account, saying he looked forward to working together.Goldsmith’s sister, Gemima, a journalist who was married to Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan, congratulated the new mayor, describing him as a “great example to young Muslims.”She also lamented her brother’s defeat and the criticism his campaign had received.“Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be—an eco-friendly, independent-minded politician with integrity,” she wrote on Twitter. London mayor reacts to French threats over ‘Brexit’: ‘Donnez-moi un break’ Even before the results were official, congratulations started to pour in, including a tweet from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.“Sending congratulations to London’s new mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan,” he wrote.