A Muslim woman was escorted out of a Trump rally in South Carolina Friday night by armed security officials after she protested the Republican candidate’s views on Syrian refugees – by simply standing, folding her hands and saying nothing. The woman, identified as a 56-year-old flight attendant from Charlotte, North Carolina named Rose Hamid, said she attended Trump’s rally because most of his supporters “never met a Muslim.”
Reports The Washington Post on Jan. 9, via MSN News: “Trump kept speaking, but soon the crowd erupted, holding up their campaign signs and chanting: ‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ That was the formal signal for security to remove her from the rally — even though she stood quietly, not saying anything. She was joined by several other protesters, all wearing yellow eight-pointed stars, reminiscent of the six-pointed stars Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear on their clothing during the Holocaust.”
Hamid was wearing a headscarf and a bright blue shirt that read: “Salam, I come in peace.” On her yellow star was the word “Muslim.” Other protestors wrote on their stars: “Stop Islamophobia,” or other similar messages.
During the rally, the billionaire GOP presidential hopeful once again referenced the fact that refugees fleeing Syria may be linked to Islamic State militants. Trump has been very forthright about his plan to temporarily close America’s borders to Muslims, roll out heavy surveillance of activities inside of Muslim mosques, and to even create a database of Muslims living in the United States.
When Trump said the refugees “probably are ISIS,” Hamid and her companion stood up silently. The crowd soon began to chant “Trump” over and over – as organizers had instructed them to do when protestors attempt to “disrupt” Trump’s stump speeches. Hamid said she was not told why she was being removed until she was outside. She then was advised she was “trespassing.”
As an official leads her out, video shows a number of Trump supporters saying things to her as she is escorted up the stairs. One man blocks her way with his “silent majority stands with Trump” sign, putting the sign in Hamid’s face and giving her the thumbs down until security move him aside.
In an interview, Hamid told CNN that while some of Trump’s supporters at the Rock Hill rally were civil to her, many others shouted epithets or screamed for her to get out. Others accused her of carrying a bomb.
“This demonstrates how when you start dehumanizing the other, it can turn people into very hateful, ugly people. It needs to be known,” Hamid, a registered Democrat, said.
“I get why he’s popular: he’s an entertainer, he’s engaging, there are certainly aspects that appeal to certain parts of society. He even has valid points in some cases,” Hamid said. “But they have to recognize what they’re supporting. His ramping up of his hateful rhetoric is just not what America is, and it’s not who we are as a country.”
Before the rally started, the crowd was told that protesting would not be tolerated, and that those who wished to do so must gather in a “free speech” space set up outside of the venue.
The Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations is now demanding that Trump personally apologize.
“The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims and to all those who value our nation’s traditions of religious diversity and civic participation,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the council, according to CNN. “Donald Trump should issue a public apology to the Muslim woman kicked out of his rally and make a clear statement that American Muslims are welcome as fellow citizens and as participants in the nation’s political process.”
Fellow Republican hopeful John Kasich, Ohio’s governor, called out the crowd for the way they responded to Hamid. “We don’t need to be shouting and booing and scaring somebody who decided to stand up and have some sort of silent protest,” Kasich told reporters.
Major Steven Thompson of the Rock Hill Police Department was asked why Hamid was made to leave. He said campaign organizers instructed police to remove “anybody who made any kind of disturbance.”
Hamid said she hoped the other individuals with Trump running for his party’s presidential nomination would pass Trump in the polls.
“I think that rest of the pack is looking at what Trump is doing and then doing whatever it is they think will get them higher in the (poll) numbers,” she said. “Hopefully, his numbers will drop, and that will give the message to everybody else that the fear-mongering is not the way to go.”