Quiet pockets of Muslims across the country buck conventional stereotypes and acknowledge, and even actively support, Republican candidate Donald Trump for President.
Last fall, Saba Ahmed, a lawyer, founded the Republican Muslim Coalition in Washington D.C. with the goal of developing a national presence.
“We will be supporting whoever the Republican nominee ends up being,” she said. “And we are hopeful of Trump’s business background, and that he would be able to use that to turn the economy around.”
Ahmed thinks, “Islamic values align with Republican values,” citing he opposition to abortion and support for traditional marriage.”
She notes that many coalition members are “very much concerned” at some “very absurd comments” Trump makes. But she sees that much of what he says is “overblown,” especially by the media.
“Trump knows he can’t win the general election with that type of hatred and those types of comments,” she said. “So going forward things will look different.”
Nedal Tamer, who works in real estate and construction in Dearborn, Michigan, looks past the superficial rhetoric and reaches for a deeper understand of the candidate.
“People have the wrong idea, even Arabs and Muslims,” he said. “I like the fact that he’s a little nuts. He’s got the good heart, he cares about America.”
Tamer is not caught up on Trump’s suggestion that Muslims be banned from entering the United States. He, and some other fellow Muslims, feels Trump’s strong stance could better contain extremists than other candidates in the race.
“Many times, Trump has said, ‘Not all Muslims’ – he’s not talking about all Muslims,” said Tamer, who claims to be a Republican. “He says there are certain people. … We’ve seen what’s happening. I don’t think anybody would agree with what ISIS is doing. He [Trump] says, ‘We have to stop ISIS now, immediately.’”
Another supporter, Karim Metwaly, said, “The thing I respect about Donald Trump is that he’s honest. He’s not afraid to say what he wants to say. … I respect his honesty. He’s not shady. He’s not a snake. He’s not trying to do things underhanded. He just tells you how it is, and you know what to expect. And that’s something I respect about Donald Trump. That’s one of the major reasons I’m supporting him and will vote for him.”
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