Italian MP: When will Muslim mayor blow up?

Beppe Grillo sparks outrage with terrorist joke about new London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Shoshana Miskin,

London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Comedian-turned politician Beppe Grillo has received harsh criticism after making a suicide bomber joke about London’s new mayor, Sadiq Kahn of the Labour party.

Grillo, who heads Italy’s second-largest political party, was performing in northern Italy when he went out of his way to praise the rise of the “Bangladeshi” Khan, a British-born Muslim whose family originally hails from Pakistan.

The head of the Five Star Movement (M5S) then added: "Now I want to see when he blows himself up in front of Westminster."

Grillo’s political opponents said that besides being extremely racist, the remark was an attempt to distract the public from internal problems within the M5S – an anti-establishment party founded by Grillo in 2009.

"The Five Star Movement is now distinguishing itself for its racism and xenophobia," said a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party (PD).

Recent polls show that about 28% of Italians support Grillo's M5S movement. It is now within five percentage points of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's PD party, according to the Financial Times.