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Area Muslims turn to social media to combat Trump's rhetoric

Posted December 9, 2015

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— Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" has been roundly criticized as bigoted, unconstitutional and potentially dangerous for American interests abroad, but some local Muslims say such pronouncements only stoke anger and fear.

So, two Muslim women have turned to social media with the hope of tempering the heated discourse with words of understanding.

"It’s not just one man saying things and nobody agrees with him. He’s got like a very large following," said Hoda Abrahim, a Cary native and student at North Carolina Central University.

"Donald Trump is an entertainer, and I think, at this point, he's kind of made America into his own reality show, starring uneducated Americans," said Zainab Baloch, a Raleigh native and a North Carolina State University graduate.

"There are so many Americans that support him, and that’s, honestly, a little frightening," Abrahim said. "That’s not what our country stands for."

"This isn’t a Muslim issue any more. It’s an American issue," Baloch said.

The pair recently posted a video on Facebook to combat Trump's inflammatory rhetoric. The three-minute video features a series of young adults holding up slates with the hashtag #IWanttoLiveinaWorld and statements such as "... where I'm judged by what's in my head, not what's on it" and "... where we silence ignorance by amplifying understanding."

"What we want to do is just put ourselves out there so that people can get a chance to know us instead of going by the assumptions that they're hearing on the news about what Muslims are like," Abrahim said.

The women said they are tired of trying to apologize for the actions of ISIS and acts of terror carried out by Islamic radicals.

"That’s almost like we’re accepting responsibility and saying, 'On behalf of Muslims, we’re sorry.' As Muslims, we don’t claim those acts at all," Abrahim said.

The two women said they have always felt welcome in the Triangle and never gave wearing their head scarves in public a second thought. Only a few times, they said, have they encountered someone who gave them the cold shoulder.

They said they hope the video and their social media efforts will spark conversations with people who can both learn more about Islam and realize that they are thoroughly American.

"We're doing our part, but it's also down to other people doing their part in not making assumptions," Baloch said.

49 Comments

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  • Hamilton Bean Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    Chip Wood "Can a Muslim be a good American?
    This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:
    Theologically - no, because his allegiance is to Allah.
    Religiously - no, because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam (Qur'an 2:256).
    Scripturally - no, because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Qur'an.
    Geographically - no, because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
    Socially - no, because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews. Politically - no, because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders) who teach the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of America, the great Satan. Domestically - no, because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat his wife when she disobeys him (Qur'an 4:34). Intellectually - no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he

  • Dirk Snedly Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    If only they would get this agitated and active on the subject of their co-religionists who contract Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

    I guess they are busy faking indignation and protesting the Islamafauxbia arising from next Friday's bomb attacks.

  • Leslie Klatt Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    Show me another religion that calls for the death of those who don't believe? I agree with Trump!

  • BigWillie Johnson Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    Yeah, they are showing their true colors by over reacting, as the media pours gasoline on this fire. No one really portrayed the content of what Trump said. He was not against the immigration of Muslims into the US. He wanted a moratorium on their entering the country until we improved our vetting process. As evidenced by last week's shooting even our best LE cannot pick out the bad characters at this point. However, it is much more newsworthy to gin up reactionary rhetoric from both sides. Listening: people should try it sometimes.

  • Howard Roark Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I was making a parallel to the atrocities in the Quran being not much different to the atrocities in the Bible. There are 1.5 billion muslims in the world. If they all practiced exclusively the worst parts of the Quran, we would have seen much worse, much sooner on our soil.

    To blanket statement Muslims as you have is disingenuous.

    And I don't own nor believe in the Quran. The same goes for the Bible.

  • Jarfaris Brown Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    No it doesn't because Christians aren't still practicing the scripture you named but Muslims are practicing those I named, and everything I said about them is true. So, when you hear Allahu Akbar remember to duck, and hold up your copy of the Quran.

  • Howard Roark Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    There's close to 1.5 billion muslims on earth. If the muslim way to silence is to kill, why aren't they all doing it?

  • Scooter Barrette Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    All lives are equal. If 10 Americans die to save thousands of foreigners, that is true American patriotism.

  • BigWillie Johnson Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    You are spot on Sean. Their just posturing their own political narrative. Where were all these voices after 9-11. They had their opportunity to denounce fundamentalists, yet their voices were strangely silent. We have a long history of denying, "inadmissible aliens," in the pursuit of self preservation of our country. If you doubt me ask Jimmy Carter, who DEPORTED Iranians in 1979. No one ever accused Jimmy Carter of being reactionary. Trump's idea is constitutional and to argue otherwise is indicative of a high amount of ignorance.

  • Sean Creasy Dec 10, 2015
    user avatar

    I am at a loss to understand how Muslim women have the audacity to complain here in the US when their religion offers them no rights what so ever under Sharia law... You think they would worry more about that than Trump wanting to temporarily stop immigrants until a better screening process is put in place... BTW the Muslim method for silencing anything not pro Muslim is to kill the ones speaking....

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