Perhaps it’s clear that American Muslims might have some problems with Donald Trump’s attitude towards them, given the racist, windbaggy dump he just shat upon them out of the anal blowhole he calls his mouth. But some Muslim Republicans—like Saba Ahmed, the American flag hijab-wearing hero who heads up the Republican Muslim Coalition—say they aren’t worried about his fascistic impulse to ban Muslim travelers, because his viewpoints do not reflect those of the party.
In Vanity Fair, Ahmed and fellow prominent Muslim Republicans spoke about their relative unconcern about his statements, with National Review’s Reihan Salam possibly going so far as to assert that Trump’s just keeping the party in rigorous debate:
“If the formal position of the Republican Party were ‘Muslims are bad,’ that would be one thing, I guess,” said Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review. But to him, membership in a big-tent political party should include tolerance for clashing ideas. Once you establish your “gut instincts about the world and how the world works,” Salam said, “you gravitate to a political party, and you have arguments within that political party about what is the best way to achieve your common objective.” (Salam grew up in a Muslim household and writes extensively about the future of the G.O.P. in an increasingly diverse society.)
Ahmed, as she told Jezebel, switched parties when she realized her values and beliefs as a Muslim were more aligned with those of the Republican party, “although although it’s been very challenging. They haven’t exactly been welcoming.” In Vanity Fair, she agreed that Trump didn’t necessarily pose a problem to the party, and that “I think we can benefit when we talk to each other rather than bash each other.”
It’s a charitable sentiment towards a man whose nightmare rhetoric has been riling up a significant enough portion of voters that he’s been the leading candidate for months. Of course, one could also view their statements as an attempt to do damage control for a party that’s gone so far off the rails even Dick “Dark Father” Cheney’s starting to sound reasonable now and again, but there are also more practical concerns:
None of them feared that Trump’s proposal (or violent rhetoric) would actually come to pass, with both Khan and Ahmed calling it unconstitutional. But when asked whether they worried about his plan’s staying power among his supporters—which count for a not-insignificant portion of the Republican base—they remained optimistic.
For Salam, the success of Trump’s rhetoric is a matter of demography, not ideology. “People’s attitudes are informed by the people they know, and that’s just reflection of the pace of demographic change, and that it’s uneven across different regions,” he said. For instance, there’s little likelihood that one of his supporters in South Carolina—where Trump announced his Muslim-ban proposal to applause—would be in regular, sustained contact with any Muslim-Americans.
It is nice that these people are not freaking out, but I still kinda am!
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