A group of Sikhs and Muslims, mostly from South Asian countries, have joined the Donald Trump bandwagon in the US state of Maryland, asserting that the Republican presidential frontrunner is ‘not against’ their communities.
Under the banner of ‘Sikh Americans for Trump’ and ‘Muslim Americans for Trump’, scores of Sikhs and Muslims held their first meeting in a suburb of Washington DC in Maryland, wherein a representative from the Trump campaign addressed them.
Organisers of the event–from both the Sikh and Muslim communities–argued that the view of Trump about minority community has been ‘twisted’ and ‘taken out of context’ by the mainstream media and claimed that the 69-year-old billionaire real estate magnet would create more jobs in the country, which would benefit the minorities.
“He (Trump) is not at all against the Sikhs or the Muslim community. What he says is given a spin. The mainstream media did that because they are scared of him. He is not the status quo. He is not taking anybody’s money,” said Jasdip Singh, who helped organise the ‘Sikh Americans for Trump’ in Maryland.
A prominent member of the Sikh community, Singh is chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on South Asian Affairs and chairman of the Board of Sikh Associations of Baltimore.
“When he talks about Muslims, he does not talk about all Muslims or American Muslims. He spoke in the context of the refugee crisis that was happening in Syria. We (Sikhs) agree with him. Muslim (Americans) agree with him that we should not bring people into this country before we vet them. And this was a temporary measure proposed by him,” Singh said.
“He is not against minorities. I have even heard that he is not good for India. On the contrary, I believe he is very good for India.
He has businesses in Pune and Mumbai. He understands all these countries and cultures better than any other candidate,” said.
Singh, who in September had led a delegation of Sikh leaders to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Silicon Valley, said: “Trump had built Tajmahal (Casino) in Atlantic City 25 years ago. He brought a piece of India to the US and tried to take things from India to Taj. So he has a very strong affinity and relationship with India. We should not listen to the spin that is coming from the media.”
“Of all the presidential candidates, Trump is the only one who has achievements to show,” argued Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani American, who helped organise the Muslim Americans for Trump.
“We believe he has the ability and capacity to change America. He has built a huge empire. He is self-funding the campaign and has no special interest behind it,” Tarar said.
“There is a war going on against Trump. Every message and speech of his has been twisted,” he said referring to the Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.