Source: The Daily Beast
By Dean Obeidallah
Think Muslims would have it hard under Trump? Latinos? Try being both. Yep, they do exist. And they’re pretty nervous.
Think your life is challenging? Then try being both Muslim and Latino as Donald Trump has ginned up the hate against both communities during his campaign.
“My first thought was, ‘why does Trump hate me so much?’” Juan Galvin, a Latino Muslim American community activist in Texas explained to me. Galvin added painfully, “I’m the perfect embodiment of all he is demonizing: I’m a Mexican-American Muslim.”
To Galvin’s point, on Saturday in Wichita, Kansas, Latino and Muslim groups were both ejected from a Trump rally.
I bet some reading this are stunned to hear about Latino Muslims. “Aren’t Muslims all Arabs or South Asian?” many of you are probably mumbling to yourselves. Actually Muslims, especially in the United States, come in all different races and ethnicities. The largest group of American Muslims are African American (one third of the Muslim community.) And Latinos are reportedly the fastest growing group in the Muslim American community. In fact, in January, a momentous event occurred in Houston with the opening of “Islam in Spanish,” a first of its kind, state of the art community center catering to the Muslim Latino community that even offers Friday Muslim prayer sermons in Spanish. (Trump’s white supremacist supporters must be going crazy upon hearing there are black and Latino Muslims.)
And now, with Trump scapegoating both Latinos and Muslims, the Latino Muslim community is getting it from both ends. “As a Muslim and Latino, I’m being used by Trump as a political prop,” Wilfredo Ruiz, a United States military veteran and currently communication director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, told me Sunday. Ruiz added that “Trump has taken anti-Muslim and anti-Latino hate to a new alarming level and has sadly been rewarded for it with free media coverage as well a spike in voter support and even campaign contributions.”
Tony Lopez, a Duke University student who recently converted to Islam, explained last week on my SiriusXM radio show that Trump’s approach is to “divide and conquer” Americans for political gain, as opposed to uniting Americans of different backgrounds. Lopez couldn’t be more correct. Trump’s demonizing of Latinos and Muslims is a strategy designed to tear at the very fabric of nation by pitting Americans against each other based on faith and religion.
Now there is potentially a Trump-sized “yuuuge” silver lining for the Latino and Muslim American communities thanks to The Donald. “Trump’s words are getting people off their couches!” exclaimed Ruiz. “We are seeing an increase in Muslims becoming involved in grass roots organizations over the last few months as Trump has ratcheted up his bashing of Muslims.”