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American Muslims retaliate against hate as Donald Trump calls for special identification

Matt Young

THIS is how Muslim Americans are fighting back against fear mongering in the United States.

In the last few days, Presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for greater security in the United States whipping up fears an influx of Syrian refugees could wreak havoc across the country.

The billionaire real estate mogul and former reality TV star is leading the race for the Republican nomination for the fourth straight month, with other Republican establishment candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, George’s brother, far behind.

America is listening to Mr Trump

Trump wants ‘systems’ to track Muslims

He has pledged to be the toughest of all candidates toward people posing threats to the US. On Sunday he appeared on (US) ABC’s This Week, saying he supported waterboarding on terrorism suspects — a practice that human rights advocates consider to be torture.

In a series of rallies and media interviews, Trump has:

• Accused “Arab” communities of cheering during the September 11 attacks in nearby New Jersey. (“It did happen. I saw it. It was on television. I saw it.”)

• Reiterated the need for his infamous “Wall” on the US-Mexico border to keep out refugees.

• Demanded surveillance on Muslim mosques. (“We’re going to have no choice.”)

But it was Trump’s suggestion to monitor Muslims through a special identification system that sparked outrage throughout the community, where he compared Syrian refugees to Islamic terrorists: “When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country we don’t know if they’re ISIS. We have no idea who these people are. We have no idea who’s being sent here. When I look at the migration and the lines and I see all strong, very powerful looking men, I see very few women I see very few children, there’s something strange going on.

“They should not come in, they should not be allowed in. We want to be smart. We want to be vigilant, we have to be vigilant. We have to just say it’s radical Islamic terrorism and that’s what it is,” he said.

The idea for a database not only drew sharp rebukes from his Republican rivals and disbelief from legal experts who consider it unconstitutional, but the Muslim-American community, which says Trump is only helping to divide people over the issue.

So, a hashtag was born.

It began with Tayyib Rashid, a US Marines veteran, who tweeted his “special ID” to Donald Trump. And it wasn’t long for the rest to follow.

Trump’s comments highlight a growing complexity for the United States, as its citizens begin to divide over the issue of allowing more refugees into the country. According to a Bloomberg poll, more than half of Americans said they favour ending the program to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States.

But perhaps, thanks to outspoken Americans like those below, the conversation will steer itself in a more responsible direction, rather than the repugnan