Local Politics

Trump speech leaves Cary activist unimpressed, disappointed

Posted March 1

— From the balcony of the U.S. House chamber, Faisal Khan said he saw a polarized nation reflected in the reactions to President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.

Khan, a community activist from Cary, attended the speech as a guest of Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price, with whom he has worked on issues from health care to fighting terrorism to Islamic relations.

While Khan noted a change in the tone of Trump's rhetoric, he said he was disappointed that the president denounced anti-Semitism but didn't similarly condemn hate crimes on the Islamic community.

"Here’s a guy who is the president of our country and is not willing to acknowledge and condemn any violence against American Muslims," Khan said Wednesday upon his return from Washington, D.C.

He has been particularly vocal since Trump took office and instituted a travel ban affecting millions of Muslims. A federal court has put the ban on hold, but Trump is expected to roll out a new plan later this week restricting immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.

Khan was seated near several other Muslim-Americans for Trump's speech, but he was right next to a Republican lawyer from Minnesota.

"There was obviously a stark difference of our view about Trump," he said. "He got up (to applaud) a lot of times, I didn’t.

"I did not stand for him because I do find his previous rhetoric quite hateful and full of bigotry," he said. "It was a very difficult decision because I want to respect the Constitution, and I do, and I do respect the president."

Khan said he and the man from Minnesota were polite and chatted about the weather before the speech.

"At the end of the day, it was very cordial. I shook hands with him, said have a great day. He was a very fine man," he said.

In a chamber and a country Khan describes as deeply divided, he said he wishes there could be more such respectful disagreements, and while he clashes with the president on how to move America forward, he said he believes the country can get there.

"Of course, we feel we’re in very dark times right now. Emotions are very high," he said. "A lot of good’s going to eventually come out. It's not going to come out immediately, but I think, in the end, we’re going to be a better country."


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  • Marianne Tioran Mar 2, 12:13 p.m.
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    this guy is to be ignored. Muslims have infiltrated the government to push islamic agenda. he is radical, whether he admits it or not. there are no "anti mslim" activities....only anti american and anti semite activities....m*slims are playing the victim to demand more rights and power,,,,if you give into them you will end up with their fascist way of thinking...........notice he has no apologies for christians who are assaulted and beheaded, child rapes, or jewish synagogues that have been vandalized and threatened.. david price is also a terror sympathizer
    the m*slims in america do not deserve any apologizes and should be apologizing for their terror attacks and jihad training camps
    americans are ok with peaceful muslims, but not sneaky negative ones like this guy

  • Clarence Drumgoole Mar 2, 9:11 a.m.
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    My, my, my! We are so divided. Why?

  • George Orwell Mar 2, 8:52 a.m.
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    I did specifically mention Trump so I've no idea what your purpose was in posting your comment, other than to demonstrate how tedious conservative deflection and distraction are. Please explain what your point was by going "back a ways" (17+ yrs) as you just did. Really, mentioning Bill Clinton is so last century.

  • Jennifer Hulford Mar 2, 8:40 a.m.
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    In an era where the (R) half of the country seems to think it's ok to make up your own facts, led by the King of Lies himself, the President, people like Khan are immeasurably important.

  • William Sherman Mar 2, 7:59 a.m.
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    George Old Man---are you speaking of Bill Clinton?? Going back a ways are we not find a suitable description???

  • George Orwell Mar 2, 7:26 a.m.
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    My name is not a fake name.

  • George Orwell Mar 2, 7:20 a.m.
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    Trump was foisted on the majority of voters by the Electoral College. Trump is a known liar, fraud, draft-dodger, and a self-acknowledged sexual predator. That's not a president, that's a criminal and nothing more.

  • Edwin Duncan Mar 2, 6:53 a.m.
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    I believe we should always reach out to the victims of hate crimes and be specific as the criminals committing them have to be directly put down. On the other hand President Trump did not address the Black hate crimes or Mexican hate crimes. He addressed the antisemitic crimes as they seemed to be getting out of control. Khan seems basically a Trump hater that WRAL wanted to use as a pawn in the media war. It is the media that is dividing our country and cannot see straight when criticized. That criticism was way overdue. If the media would ignore President Trump's attacks and try to improve their fairness and quality I doubt this article would have been published.

  • Jim Tabor Mar 2, 6:46 a.m.
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    Who decided that this was news? Kathryn Brown is the reporter credited for this story. Her "News Philosphy" is "To listen and learn. To inform and empower the public with relevant, informative, inspirational and interesting stories". It would be interesting to hear from her if this was her idea or was she "assigned" by her Lords and Masters at WRAL.

  • Barrett Powell Mar 2, 6:31 a.m.
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    What is disingenuous is making comments behind a fake name.

    WRAL constantly does and will remove comments it does not like. This is far from an open forum. Calling out any comment that doesn't match your beliefs as hate or racist is also pretty typical.