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Yes, Virginia, there really are Muslim Americans who support Donald Trump.
Despite the Republican presidential front-runner’s message that immigration from Muslim countries should come to a temporary halt, he enjoys the enthusiastic support of a small number of Muslims.
In fact, Nedal Tamer, who lives in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, known for its large Muslim population, doesn’t understand why the billionaire businessman doesn’t have a larger following among other Muslim Americans.
“People have the wrong idea, even Arabs and Muslims,” said Tamer, 40, who works in real estate and construction, according to the New York Post. “I like the fact that he’s a little nuts. He’s got the good heart, he cares about America.”
Critics have expressed feeling uneasy with Trump’s statement that “Islam hates the West.”
But Tamer, who was born in Lebanon and arrived in the United States in the late 1990s, said Trump is only referring to extremists such as Islamic State terrorists.
“Many times, Trump has said, ‘Not all Muslims’ – he’s not talking about all Muslims,” said Tamer, 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 says, ‘We have to stop ISIS now, immediately.’”
Tamer isn’t alone, and some, like Saba Ahmed, are organizing on behalf of the Republican Party and Trump. She founded the Republican Muslim Coalition in Washington, D.C.
“We will be supporting whoever the Republican nominee ends up being. And we are hopeful of Trump’s business background, and that he would be able to use that to turn the economy around,” she said.
Ahmed, who is a lawyer, believes that “Islamic values align with Republican values,” including views on abortion and traditional marriage.
She also believes that some of the comments about Trump’s rhetoric is overblown.
“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.”
She acknowledges that many Muslims disagree with her positions on Trump and the GOP, but claims it’s indicative of the diversity within the Muslim community.
“We can have differences of opinion in the upcoming election, but it’s important for all Muslims to get involved,” she said. “We are the 1 percent that can shift the outcome of the presidential election. We need more engagement.”
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