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Charlotte activist escorted out of Donald Trump rally in SC

Charlotte’s Jibril Hough is escorted out while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Saturday at a town hall meeting in the Convocation Center on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.
Charlotte’s Jibril Hough is escorted out while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Saturday at a town hall meeting in the Convocation Center on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus. AP

Charlotte activist Jibril Hough was among two dozen people escorted out of a Donald Trump rally after protesting remarks the presidential candidate has made about Muslims.

Hough, a Muslim who is spokesperson for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, has been a mainstay in Charlotte protests in the last few years, including a series of protests connected to the racially charged shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Hough said he purchased the tickets for the Aiken, S.C., rally weeks in advance on the Trump website.

In videos that show Hough being escorted out, he’s wearing a kufi, a traditional Muslim head covering, and a black T-shirt that says “Fight the Power,” an allusion to an anti-establishment rap song from the 1980s.

“A very elementary investigation would have revealed I wasn’t exactly a Trump supporter,” Hough said. “I didn’t go in there undercover, either. I wore a kufi and a Public Enemy T-shirt.”

Hough said he was escorted out twice. The first time, he was taken out by guards who cited security concerns after Hough got a text message about waiting for a cue.

Near the end of Trump’s remarks, Hough stood up and started chanting after the candidate was asked a question about closing the camp for detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Most of the detainees are Muslim.

The hourlong rally in Aiken was “interrupted several times by protesters who think Trump’s views divide the country along lines of race, religion and national origin,” according to The (Columbia) State newspaper.

As Hough was being escorted out, he held up a geometric symbol with the word “Muslim” inscribed on it. He said Trump’s recent remarks about banning Muslims from the United States are reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s actions toward Jews.

“I try not to use that Hitler comparison loosely, because he kind of stands alone, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” Hough said. “A lot of people think (Trump is) a buffoon – I do, too. But he’s leading the polls. I think that he’s a buffoon you have to take seriously.”

Trump, who has led South Carolina polls since July, was making his fourth stop in three weeks in the state with the South’s first 2016 presidential primary. The New York real estate mogul has created headlines during his past two stops in South Carolina.

In Myrtle Beach last month, he stood behind often-refuted claims that thousands of Muslims were seen cheering in New Jersey in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. On Monday, in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Trump defended his newly released plan to ban Muslims temporarily from entering the United States in the wake of mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

The (Columbia) State contributed.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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