WASHINGTON (AA) – A Muslim woman booted from a Donald Trump rally, urged President Barack Obama to tell the world about religious freedom in the U.S., ahead of his State of the Union address.
Rose Hamid, 56, who stood in silent protest during Trump’s appearance in North Carolina last Friday, spoke to Anadolu Agency about her experience.
Sitting in the stands directly behind Trump, alongside one of her friends, Hamid stood up when the Republican presidential front-runner suggested Syrian refugees fleeing war there were affiliated with Daesh.
Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
Despite her silence, Trump supporters around her began chanting the candidate’s name and pointed at Hamid and Marty Rosenbluth, a man who stood alongside Hamid.
“I went there that evening with a group of friends to protest Trump’s ‘hate speech’ as an American Muslim,” she said. “There was a group of people going there to protest against hate speech. The message was this: We, Americans, do not stand for hate speech not only toward us but other people as well.”
Hamid, a flight attendant, said that because she was wearing headscarf, she would be easily noticed and would use the opportunity to speak to people who don’t really know about Islam.
“Everything was fine and people were nice until Trump started speaking and we started to stand up,” she said.
Hamid and other protesters wore T-shirts that read, “Salam I come in peace” and a yellow star with “Muslim” affixed to the chest.
She noted that the star was to signify that the wearer was against hate speech.
Hamid said some in the audience in another part of the auditorium were jeering Trump, but she added, “We were not, I and the man standing beside me who was Jewish. We were just standing silently. We didn’t say anything. Then the security came over and told us we had to leave.”
Responding to a question about the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. that has been helped by anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, she said many people are fearful of Muslims which in turn makes them hate Muslims.
“It is because people who say they are Muslim but are not behaving like a Muslim are doing things that gives Islam a bad name,” she said. “Honestly as an American I can practice my religion in America better than in any other so-called Muslim countries, because as an American I have rights written in the law that protects my freedom of religion,” she said.
Hamid said Muslims should go out and speak to the people who don’t know about Islam.
She noted that as part of Muslim Women for Carolina, she would attend an event in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the group would distribute copies of the Qur’an to the community.
Responding to a question about what she expects Obama may say about Muslims in his State of Union address Tuesday, Hamid said she would expect the president to tell the world that there is freedom of religion in the U.S.
“The world needs to hear about freedom of religion in America once again,” she said, noting that Obama has done it several times.