If Republican "presidential candidate" Donald Trump plans to individually register American Muslims — something he's insinuated he'd like to do in order to (successfully) bait a thirsty media and feed the darkest, most bestial instincts of his trollish base — he's got his work cut out for him in the Bay Area.
Spread about the six counties surrounding San Francisco is one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States according to a 2010 study from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The study found 250,000 Muslims living here, who as a whole represent under one percent of US as a whole. Some, many, even perhaps all of these American Muslims are resistant — even consternated by — Trump's proposals, and predictably disturbed their resonance in certain Islamophobic echo chambers.
Noman Munif, a 38-year-old business development executive at Google, was born in Pakistan. He lives in the Bay Area with his three children and heads the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, a group of thriving professionals like business owners, founders, and CEOs.
"This is home," he told the Chronicle. "We would hope that we are considered Americans. The fear is, today Donald Trump is saying Muslims can’t come to this country... When is he going to be saying Muslims here have to leave?”
Actually, Mr. Trump seems to have proposed that if Muslims do leave the US they won't be able to come back, so he's definitely working on this. But Munif is just one Bay Area Muslim who finds the abhorrent public figure's abhorrent rhetoric to be.... bad.
Let's hear from some more, courtesy of ABC7.
Rabia Chaudry: "It's an ignorant, ill-thought, unconstitutional, likely illegal proposal from someone who I believe does not have public service as his core value."
Mujeeb Ijaz: "I think it plays into the hands of groups like ISIL that are looking for a crack in the American spirit."
Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the aforementioned Institute, also registered dismay. “These statements mark a new low in our political discourse. He may not have a chance of winning the presidential race, but he has already changed our country by pushing the boundaries of socially acceptable bigotry,” said Mogahed. “What was unthinkable is now mainstream.”
You know what, just to piss Trump off, let's hear from MOAR MUSLIMS.
Michael Kim, age 46, of Lafayette, is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and for seven years served as an active duty naval officer “How is it possible that this country I love, that I’m a community member of, a nation I defend, is turning its back on me so harshly?” he said
35-year-old emergency room physician Asad Tarsin who lives in Dublin, said "I feel we are at a crossroads at a nation. I think that with crossroads there’s a degree of concern if we as a country are going to make the right decisions."
Somehow, bless her, Tarsin has found a way to be hopeful and generous. "I think I have more faith in my fellow Americans than I do a segment of the population that’s been duped by a rhetoric of fear.”
Now that's a faith to which we should all subscribe.