Trump rants terrorize US Muslim capital


Dearborn, Mich—Among the halal restaurants, the meat markets, and the hookah bars of this working-class Detroit suburb, the topic of Donald Trump is terrorizing the local population.
The businessman and Republican presidential frontrunner is the foremost topic of conversation in Dearborn, a town with one of the highest concentration of Muslims in America and that boasts the country’s largest mosque. Its inhabitants can’t stop talking about the billionaire, who has proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country and normalized extreme rhetoric against the religious group.
Among the Muslim community in this state, the notion that they might one day be rounded up and herded into internment camps is a distant but not utterly outlandish possibility — one that has become more real with the seemingly-inexorable ascent of Trump in the GOP primary.
Muslim Americans have already felt persecuted and targeted since 9/11 — a feeling that has only worsened under the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama due to worsening conflicts in the Middle East. The idea that Trump might one day be president is enough to send some of its inhabitants to the madhouse — or, alternatively, Canada (pledges to move north if he is elected have spiked, locals say).
“I have always felt like I was on the fringes of what is acceptable Americanness — being Muslim on top of being black just compounds that, especially after 9/11,” said Dawud Walid, a local Islamic preacher and the Michigan executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “There are actually people in our community that would literally consider leaving America [if Trump were elected], if not permanently, at least temporarily, to reside abroad.”
At a Dearborn restaurant, over Moroccan tea with a hint of mint, Walid echoed others in the community who feel like the notion of detention camps for Muslims are an actual possibility in modern-day America.
“We live in an era where the KKK recruitment is experiencing a resurgence, and the Klan in many states are recruiting in part on an anti-Muslim platform,” Walid told The Daily Beast.
“It’s a legitimate fear, it’s a concern,” added Mallak Beydoun, who heads the Michigan Democratic Party’s Arab-American caucus. “Donald Trump would entertain an idea of that sort.”
When Trump was first asked about Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, he didn’t give a definitive answer on whether he approved of it.
“I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” he told Time magazine. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”—AFP

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