In an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel on Monday, Rose Hamid – the American Muslim woman who was ejected from a Donald Trump rally this week – said that while some people “believe some parts” of the Republican presidential candidate’s controversial statements about Muslims, others “do adopt his point of view,” leading to “division among Americans.”
Below is the full transcript of the interview:
Interviewer: With us via Skype from North Carolina, Rose Hamid welcome. Rose, there is a proverb that says “Don’t sleep in graves, and you won’t have any nightmares” (English equivalent: “Don’t put your head in the lion’s mouth” – meaning: do not go looking for trouble). Why did you attend a Donald Trump’s campaign rally, what were you expecting?
Rose Hamid: No, I went to the Trump rally with a group of eight other people from different religious backgrounds - Christians, Muslims and Jews - to protest against Trump’s hate speech during his presidential campaign, Of course, it is considered as aggressive behavior against Muslims and others. Therefore, what I did was not limited to Muslims but others who also protested against his behavior.
Interviewer: What was your goal? Do you think you succeeded in sending a message and if so, to who?
R.H.: The target was the American people. My message was that this kind of behavior and statements should not be allowed. We live in a country that safeguards the freedom of everyone as well as the freedom of expression and religious freedoms. This is how Muslims perceive America and why they chose to live in it and this why we won’t accept to be discriminated against because of our religion.
Interviewer: To what extent do you believe that Donald Trump is serious about the anti-Muslim statements he makes? And do you think that the American people are really convinced and agree with his proposals?
R.H.: I think they believe some parts of it and unfortunately some people would like to adopt his point of view and Mr. Trump is encouraging them to do so, which leads to divisions among Americans. However, those sitting next to me were very kind and didn’t seem to support Trump’s statements at all.
Interviewer: Rose, we are watching the video now on the screen when you were standing up silently protesting against Trump’s statement and then being kicked out of the hall. Can you tell us what were you thinking of before going in and did you know when you were going to protest, were you waiting for a certain moment?
R.H.: As I said, I was with a group of people, among them a Jew who was defending civil rights and was supporting this protest. We agreed that we will all stand up when Trump says anything hateful or discriminatory against certain categories of Americans. Some people would have wanted to say harsh words but I didn’t. I just wanted to protest in silence. Those who were wearing yellow badges protested too.
Interviewer: Yet you were the only one to be ejected? Is it because you were wearing a hijab?
R.H.: No, No. Eight people wearing this badge were escorted out of the venue, eight people other than me.
Interviewer: Ok then why were you spotlighted? Is the American media interested in highlighting the fact that you were wearing a hijab or that you are Muslim?
R.H.: The media … what I’ve seen is that they first thought that it was about a Muslim woman, then later on they also focused on the reason why I stood up to protest in addition to what the other protesters did.
Interviewer: Are you thinking of suing Trump – what is your next move? Are you going to pursue your protest?
R.H.: I don’t have any plans to sue Trump however I will continue to protest against the people who keep voicing hate speech in the United States of America, and I would like to condemn those who are doing this, it is very harmful to other Americans. As a Muslim, all Muslims should stand against those who are perpetrating crimes and atrocities in the name of Islam. As Muslims we are aware that good and peaceful behavior is the only way to get rid of bad people.
Interviewer: Joining us from North Carolina, Rose Hamid, thank you.