Global Independent Analytics

At New York anti-Trump rally, protesters express anger, fear

Protest intensifies after Trump’s anti-Muslim speech.

Joseph Ax reporting for Reuters: throughout 2015, there’s been a lot of negative publicity and controversy, surrounding Republican 2016 presidential candidate Donald John Trump. The latest example of his reputation taking a hit happened, when hundreds of activists rallied on Thursday in front of Trump’s hotel in midtown NY. This gathering was direct response to Trump’s call to bar Muslims temporarily from entering the United States.              

Shouting “Dump Trump” and “refugees welcome,” the protesters lashed out on Trump’s comments and his persona as well.

“We are not asking for any favors,” Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York told the crowd. “We are asking for the basic respect and dignity that we all deserve here in the United States of America.”

Trump’s bold statement, creating furious backlash at home and abroad, came after a deadly shooting in San Bernardo, California, last week, in which a married Muslim couple described as "radicalized" by police murdered 14 people.

However, it’s now becoming increasingly clear that Trump, while staying more vivid in his comments than most, is not the only one to call for restrictions on Syrian refugees who want to settle in the United States. Yet, it’s Trump’s explicit statements, remarks and comments that are intensifying a wave of Islamophobia, many experts believe.

"The damage he’s done is already very significant," said Skanda Kadirgamar, 27, citing reports of increased threats against Muslims. "Donald Trump is here to pour gasoline onto those fires."

Several Muslims, present at the rally, said they feared harassment, discrimination; assaults on their lives and wellbeing would increase, as tensions, after the shooting, grow. Many were citing the Sept.11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda as an example.

Amira Kariem, 16, said her mother was forced to stop wearing her head scarf for two weeks following those attacks, and her friend, Iman Sahel, 17, said her aunt was pushed to the ground.

"There are people who are just like him," Sahel said of Trump.

The only Trump supporter stood alone, next to the protesters, while holding signs that said "We Want Trump" and "No More Syrians."

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

Malcolm X said about a tragic event in US history, the assassination of JFK, that it was a case of the “chickens coming home to roost.” Similarly, while the US government under Barack Obama has destroyed nations throughout the world, finally one of the presidential candidates turned against sectors of the local population of the US.
 

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