A 56-year-old Muslim American woman was thrown out of a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump following a silent protest.
Rose Hamid was forcibly removed by security guards from the hall in South Carolina on Friday, after standing up in the crowd while wearing a shirt saying: “Salam. I come in peace.”
Hamid, and a few other protesters with her, also wore yellow Jewish stars of David marked “Muslim” to recall the forced identification markers under Nazi Germany.
Video footage aired on CNN of the moment when Hamid was being escorted out, shows many Trump supporters shouting at her.
Hamid, who works as a flight attendant, told CNN that some shouted questions at her such as “Do you have a bomb? Do you have a bomb?”
But according to Hamid, her silent protest of the “hateful rhetoric” found in Trump’s camp is mainly an element existing within the “crowd mentality”, as opposed to personal beliefs held by most Republicans.
“This demonstrates how when you start dehumanising the other it can turn people into very hateful, ugly people,” Hamid told CNN.
“I’ve the sincere belief that if people get to know each other one-on-one, that they’ll stop being afraid of each other.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a press statement calling on Trump to offer a public apology for the action.
“The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims and to all those who value our nation’s traditions of religious diversity and civic participation,” Nihad Awad, CAIR national executive director, said.
Following the ejection of Hamid, Trump reportedly told the crowd of supporters at the campaign rally: “There’s hatred against us that is unbelievable. It’s their hatred, it’s not our hatred.”
Trump has come under fire from the public and politicians for repeated comments seen as planting fear of Muslims, including that they should carry specific identification cards and that mosques should be closed.
Meanwhile, an advocacy group is seeking an apology from Trump after the Muslim woman was heckled and escorted out.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued the call for an apology.
Hamid said she was standing up in protest to a Trump statement when members of the audience pointed her out by chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad also called on Trump to meet with American Muslim leaders to help stem the anti-Muslim sentiment resulting from his rhetoric and that of other Republican presidential candidates.
Hamid said on Saturday afternoon she hadn’t received any response. “I would like to hear what Trump has to say about it,” she told AP by phone. “I’d like to hear because if they say that it was because we were disrupting things, then I would like him to show evidence of where the disruption came, because the disruption didn’t come from me.”
Trump defended his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. He said his call had drawn attention to radical Islamic extremism, which he described as “a very deep-seated problem that we have in this country and throughout the world.’”
Hamid, a flight attendant, said there were no problems as she waited in line to enter and hear Trump speak. “I didn’t get a bad vibe from anyone,” she said. “The people I made personal contact with were very pleasant.”
Hamid said the mood changed once the rally began, and the spotlight began to shift to her.
“My intention was to stand up when he said something that was offensive, not just for Muslims but for anyone,” she said.
Hamid said security officials didn’t touch her as they led her out, adding that “I was glad that nobody got physical and did anything scary.”— Al Jazeera