Muslim activist Jibril Hough: Why I got thrown out of Trump’s rallies

Jibril Hough is escorted out of a Donald Trump rally in Aiken, S.C., last month.
Jibril Hough is escorted out of a Donald Trump rally in Aiken, S.C., last month. AP

From Jibril Hough, a Muslim activist from Charlotte who was thrown out of two Donald Trump rallies in South Carolina recently:

The politics of fear is nothing new in America. Donald Trump’s presidential run has capitalized on this fear tactic and run with it. He has taken it to levels that even many of his Republican colleagues will not openly support. I say “openly” because Trump is the monster the Republican party has created.

As Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric continued to climb, I felt compelled to do something. I joined a Facebook group called Go Yellow Against Hate. This group was formed to counter the increase in Islamophobia and attacks on Muslims. The group’s primary focus is not solely Trump, for he is just a product of the racism and Islamophobia we are trying to counter.

I first joined my friends in Go Yellow Against Hate at a Trump rally in Aiken, S.C. Being a visible Muslim at a Trump rally brought much curiosity and looks, even a talk with the Secret Service. But it wasn’t until I stood up as an unapologetic Muslim stating, “Islam Is Not The Enemy” that all hell broke loose. His supporters started grabbing and pulling and shouting at me. I finally was aggressively escorted out by police. After looking at footage of the rally, I really connected with what I had done as well as those like Martin Luther King and others who stood in the face of vicious racists to expose the system.

After being in the belly of this beast you know that this type of work must continue. The stench of racism, bigotry and Islamophobia is the energy behind the Trump phenomenon. The crowds are cult-like. His supporters are not concerned with his agenda (or lack thereof). They just feed off the red meat of building a wall and attacking Islam. They also support the Second Amendment much more than the First. All of this makes for a dangerous mix.

When we received notification of Trump’s Rock Hill visit, I knew I had to return. Opposing Trump’s anti-Muslim proposals has become like a civil rights movement. And some of our strategies draw from the historic struggle against racism. I was again forcibly removed at the Rock Hill rally after I stood up and said, “Islam Is Not The Problem.” As I was aggressively removed from the arena, cuffed and pushed against the wall, I again connected with King, Malcolm X and so many others who have stood in the face of racism. Leaving the arena, my hands were cuffed, but my mind and purpose were free as a bird.