During an interview with a CNN host who wanted to talk about President Trump’s connections to the mosque massacre in New Zealand last week, a Muslim physician claimed that Trump is “beloved” in the world of Muslims.
On Saturday, Qanta Ahmed, who is a doctor and associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, appeared on CNN to speak to the network about the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday
The CNN host, Fredericka Whitfield, played a video that was taken on Friday of President Trump using the word “invasion” while speaking about the illegal immigration issue at the southern border. The suspected gunman of the attack also used the word in a manifesto that he wrote prior to the attack. President Trump was also mentioned in the manifesto. The White House and President Trump have absolutely condemned the attack.
Even though she admitted that Trump’s word choice was “poor” and his timing was “much worse,” Ahmed urged Whitfield to take the whole picture into consideration. “There is nothing — the president has no responsibility if a fanatic mentions him in a manifesto. A fanatic could equally mention me. So, I don’t think that is his responsibility,” she said while adding that she would like to see President Trump denounce all forms of “lethal bigotry.”
She continued by adding: “And one thing the viewers should know, this president and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim word, in Egypt, in Oman, in Jordan, in Iraqi Kurdistan where this president is beloved.” Support for Trump and his party has been strong for many years, she said.
According to Whitfield, Trump and his party have been receiving support for many years. “This president and the Republican Party going back to George Bush is very dearly held,” she said. “Today is the anniversary of … the massacre of 180,000 Kurds at the hands of Saddam Hussein. That only change would because of a Republican president. So, it is very important not to lose so much perspective that we start believing our entire government is Islamophobic. That is not the case,” she said.
Ahmed believes that the word “Islamophobia” is quite often used in the wrong manner. “Islamophobia actually means the refusal to scrutinize or examine Islam or Islamism, Islamist institutions,” she said. “So we must distinguish lethal, diabolical, anti-Muslim xenophobia as is happening in Christchurch from Islamophobia. Why should we do that? Because, if we do not, we empower Islamists who wish to propagate the myth, the same myth that the white supremacists gunman wants us to believe that we are under siege in the secular world, that we are victims in the West,” she said.
Ahmed also believes that the attack in New Zealand needs to be viewed at a human level. “Clearly, these Muslims were victims. Clearly, they were appalling and innocent tragedies which the decency and nobility of New Zealand is coping with now,” she said. She continued by saying that the video that was recorded of the attack, which was live-streamed on Facebook, could be used as a powerful weapon.
“This is an appalling recruiting video for Jihadists, but worse, this is a seed to tell people, tell the frightened public that we are going to fragment, that we are going to divide and our magnificent societies like we have here in the United States, or we have in New Zealand, or in my native Britain, we cannot allow these kinds of splits to occur in society because the entire intent of the perpetrator — in this case a white supremacist/nationalist — in my opinion, international terrorist, is to separate us,” she said.
During her interview, Ahmed spoke about the controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is a Muslim, and her comments that were seen as anti-Semitic. “Anti-Semitism occurred in Congress, and the reaction was when there was outrage that this was somehow hate directed at a Muslim who is spewing Islamist ideology. So, we have to be extremely clear about the language, clear about the narrative …,” she said.