'Salam, I Come in Peace': Muslim Woman Ejected from Donald Trump Rally After Staging a Silent Protest
A Muslim woman was ejected from a South Carolina presidential campaign rally for Donald Trump on Friday, after she stood silently in her seat behind him, in protest of his remarks, drawing the ire of the crowd.
Though 56-year-old Rose Hamid said nothing, the crowd around her grew more vocal, first chanting Trump’s name and pointing to signal a protestor’s presence, and then booing and shouting “get out” as she was escorted away, according to CNN.
Someone shouted, “You have a bomb, you have a bomb,” Hamid told CNN.
Despite this, Hamid – a flight attendant who wore a shirt to the Rock Hill rally reading “Salam, I come in peace” – said the people around her were “very sweet.”
“I never felt truly threatened,” Hamid told CNN afterward. “I was not afraid of these people, because I truly believe that the decent people would have stood up and not permitted that.”
“The people around me were lovely,” she said. “There were people who were very nice, they were sharing their popcorn, it was very nice people all around me. There were people I had conversations with.”
In fact, she told CNN, one woman reached over, shook her hand and said she was sorry for what was happening.
It was only as the crowd got whipped up all together that they got more aggressive, she said.
As she told CNN before the rally, “I figured that most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim so I figured that I’d give them the opportunity to meet one. I really don’t plan to say anything.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful, but if he says something that I feel needs answering I might – we’ll just see what strikes me.”
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Hamid, along with another person, stood up at the rally when Trump, 69, began discussing Syrian refugees and ISIS, according to CNN.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has since called on Trump to publicly apologize to Hamid.
“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,” Nihad Awad, CAIR’S national executive director, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The Republican presidential hopeful has previously faced backlash for some his rhetoric and policy proposals, which have been decried as anti-Muslim.
Citing Islamic extremism, Trump has previously called on the U.S. to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country, as a matter of national security.
But Trump has said he has “no regrets” about those comments and that he is not a bigot.
“Not at all, probably the least you’ve ever met,” he told Barbara Walters in December. “I’m a person who has common sense. I’m a smart person. I know how to run things.”
“I have people that I have tremendous relationships with, they’re Muslim, and Barbara, they agree with me 100 percent,” he told Walters.
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Hamid’s is the latest in a series of protests at Trump rallies. Some crowd members at a rally last year reacted with violence to a protestor.
But Hamid said she refused to think of Trump’s supporters as a uniform danger – something to group together and dismiss.
“I think that’s what the problem is, is that we look at people and we categorize them as ‘those people who are bad people and these people are the good people,’ ” she told CNN. “And I believe that people in all camps are decent people when you get to know them, as was evident by the people who were around me.”
“But it’s when you get that hateful rhetoric going is what incites people.”