Donald Trump is honcho out to Saudi Arabia this weekend to deliver an inspiring addres about Islam to over 50 foreign Muslim governors. I picture Ill pass on the addres. Ive listened Trumps inspiring words about Islam before.
Who can forget his greatest stumbles like Islam hates us? Or Trumps lie that thousands of Muslim Americans clapped in New Jersey on 9/11, a mention that even Trumps buddy Rudy Giuliani pronounced was not accurate. And then there was Trump on Fox News during the campaign announced today that up to 34 percent of all Muslims in “the worlds” wishes to wage war on America, a comment subdued by fact checkers as spurious.( So per Trump one in three of the Muslims he congregates in Saudi is a terrorist .)
And of course who can forget Trumps most inspiring wordshis call to ban around the world Muslim population from our commonwealth simply because of their sect. And the all epoch Trump was saying this, he was hypocritically doing business with countless foreign Muslims from Dubai to Indonesia.
I dont need to watch Trumps speech because Ive also witnessed potential impacts of Trumps inspiring words. In 2015 there was a 67 percent spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And since the election, there has been an alarming uptick in physical attacks on Muslim Americans, peculiarly women wearing hijabs. Add to that, mosques across the country have been targeted by hate, with some being burned to the anchor.
But now Trump is heading to Saudi to meet with the royal family there as well as other Muslims governors. Funny how Trump continues speaking of America First but he has now chosen to meet foreign Muslim governors before first gathering a public had met with American Muslim governors to apologize for demonizing local communities.
And while my craze is focused on Trump, I have to ask will the foreign Muslim governors pulp Trump on his history of hate he targeted at Muslims in America ?! If these foreign Muslim governors rightfully deem American Muslims as their sisters and brothers, then demonstrate it by publicly calling out Trumps hate instead of whitewashing it. But I disbelieve they will because their geopolitical attentions trump regards for American Muslims.
While my opinion on Trump are clear, I pondered what my fellow American Muslims thought, so I asked them via social media and email.
Interestingly the very first reaction on Facebook was from a younger Muslim American who wrote: As a Muslim, Im eager to accompany what he has to say, said if it went well it could realise him rethink the action he goal Trump.
I was stupefied. Was I so partisan that I was shutting my attentions to what some of my fellow America Muslims were ending as a sincere try by Trump to reset relations with Muslims?
Well, while that may have been the first remark posted, it was the last time that end was voiced. The tsunami of reactions that followed hurled Trumps hypocrisy as well as the foreign Muslim governors who are opening their arms to Trump while not calling out his demonization of American Muslims.
The most common response was summed up by Muslim American Will Coley, who passed for the Libertarian vice presidential nomination in 2016: Trump in room full of dictators, oppressors, and authoritarianshe should feel right at home.
Zaki Barzinji, who worked in the Obama administration, resembled that sentimentality:
The House of Trump bids it was the House of Saud. Trump, he computed, views the Saudis nepotistic district, the squelching of womens privileges, the fomenting of racist hysteria as an admirable blueprint.
Many others voiced the view that was nothing more than a business trip-up for Trump. Tariq Hassan territory bluntly, This is about one thing: business. This trip-up has nothing to with Islam. Ahmad Zahra computed, Follow the money. Trumps get personal business there and arms deals with Gulf people. This has nothing to do with Islam or peace.
That deem is clearly supported by the facts. In 2015, Ivanka Trump publicly stated that the Trump organization was looking to build brand-new inns in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. And this week we learned that Trump is on border of shutting a massive $100 billion arms deal with the Saudis that will of course be a big boost to U.S. defense contractors and our economy.
Interestingly the criticism of the Muslim foreign governors by American Muslims almost joined the slam of Trump. As comedian and activist Maysoon Zayid wrote, I would hope that Muslim governors would check his bigotry but hes not really encountering leadershes encountering lovers like himself interested in advantage not prophets.
Others indicated the hypocrisy of Trump lecturing the Islamic world while standing on the grunge of Saudi Arabia, one of “the worlds largest” authoritarian/ extremist Muslim governments.
Its clear that the days of American Muslims holding back on praising foreign Muslim governors for illiberal ideas and persecuting their own people are long goneand thats a great thing.
A few professionals also reacted, affording more measured notes. Shuja Nawaz, a discriminated comrade at the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, told me we would likely only hear Trump offer clichs and generalizations. Nawaz expected little real action after Trumps speech, which he indicated was exactly what happened after President Obamas prominent New Beginnings speech in Cairo in 2009. Salam Al-Marayati, head of the Muslim Public Affair Council, asked the only chance Trump has of going beyond empty rhetoric is by substantively dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the tragedy in Syria.
Trumps meeting in Saudi is not about helping Muslims, its about Trump. Its ever about Trump. Sure, this weekend Trump might serve up indications like how he loves the Muslims, has immense Muslim pals, etc. But happen the next time Trump thinks it will help him politically, he will demonize American Muslims. And just as bad, the foreign Muslim leaderssome democratically elected but countless being dictators and monarchswill likely still hug him because like Trump they care less about Muslims and more about money.