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Trump and Clinton respond to Muslim woman's 'Islamophobia' question during fiery debate

Posted October 12

Among the many topics addressed at Sunday night's second presidential debate was Islamophobia and the plans both candidates have to remedy the negative treatment of American Muslims.

These topics emerged after a question was asked of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic contender Hillary Clinton by an audience member named Gorbah Hamed, who identified herself as a Muslim.

"There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I’m one of them," Hamed said. "You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?"

The question was particularly notable, considering the controversial call Trump issued last December for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.

It's a proposal he has since backed away from in exchange for "extreme vetting" of immigrants from countries with a history of terrorism.

Trump was first up to respond to Hamed's question, saying she's "right about Islamophobia" and that it's "a shame," before proceeding to discuss his views on battling radical Islam.

"We could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem," he said of the world-wide terror threat.

Watch Trump and Clinton respond to the Muslim question here.

Trump then implored Muslims to report extremist activity or "hatred" that they see it in communities across the nation.

"Muslims have to report the problems when they see them," Trump said. "If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country, because you look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino and you look at the World Trade Center."

He mentioned the attack in San Bernardino, the World Trade Center and the Paris attacks as examples of the havoc wreaked by radical Islamic terrorists.

After Trump shared these examples of the havoc wreaked by radical Islamic terrorists, he closed his comments by attacking Clinton, who he said refuses to mention the words "radical" and "Islamic" when discussing the ongoing terror threat.

"To solve a problem you have to be able to state what the problem is, or at least state the name," he said. "She won't say the name and President Obama won't say the name, but the name is there — it's radical Islamic terror, and before you solve it you have to say the name."

It is true that Clinton and Obama have caught flack in the past for refusing to label terror events as being perpetuated by radical Muslims, though Clinton did say in a June 2016 interview with CNN's "New Day" that she didn't have a problem using such terms.

"From my perspective, it matters what we do more than what we say. And it mattered we got bin Laden, not what name we called him," she said. "I have clearly said we — whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I'm happy to say either. I think they mean the same thing."

As for answering Hamed's question about Islamophobia, Clinton took a more direct approach, saying there have been "a lot of very divisive, dark things said about Muslims," before connecting some of those negative comments to Trump.

"I want to say just a couple of things. First, we’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington," Clinton said. "And we’ve had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particular well-known one with Muhammad Ali."

She went on to share her vision for the country, saying every person who is willing to contribute is welcome.

Clinton then proceeded to call Trump's rhetoric about Muslims "short-sighted and even dangerous," explaining how she plans to beat the Islamic State by working with a coalition of Muslim nations.

"We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are," she said. "So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else."

As NBC News reported, some Muslims took to Twitter to explain their frustration with the treatment of Islam during the debate.

"Why can't we talk about Muslims without talking about ISIS? We are more than that. Tired of this same old talking point," activist Linda Sarsour tweeted.

And law professor Khaled Beydoun wrote,"Muslims only discussed by candidates in relation to: ISIS, terrorism, homegrown radicalization. Not victims of Islamophobia."

Email: bhallowell@deseretnews.com Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell

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