Trump’s Pakistani Supporter Faces Rejection

Sajid Tarar, founder of American Muslims for Trump. (Photo by M. R. Farrukh)

Sajid Tarar, founder of American Muslims for Trump. (Photo by M. R. Farrukh)

Sajid Tarar, the founder of a group called American Muslims for Trump, says he is facing rejection and hatred from the Pakistani American community for his support of the Republican presidential candidate. [Editor’s note: What follows is a condensation of the story.]

In an interview with Urdu weekly Pakistan Post on October 24, Tarar said he is receiving “provocative and hate-filled” emails, not just from some members of Pakistani community in different parts of the U.S., but also from Pakistan. However, “surprisingly,” according to Tarar, he is receiving support from some second-generation American Muslims as well as Muslims from different parts of the Middle East.

Tarar, a Baltimore-based businessman of Pakistani origin, was visiting NYC to participate in a Pakistani television show on the U.S. elections. He shot to national prominence when he gave the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention in July this year.

To a question about his reasons for supporting Trump, Tarar explained that he wanted to show mainstream America that American Muslims not only believe in difference of opinion, religious diversity and freedom, but also that they could support Donald Trump and the Republican Party on issues where their opinions converged. He identified Trump’s stance on political corruption, dynastic politics, and foreign policy as some of the areas where he might have support among Muslim voters.

He said he did not agree with Trump’s anti-Muslim diatribe and had spoken to him about such statements. “I told him on three different occasions that his statements against Muslims and about Islamophobia were alienating Muslim voters and damaging his image in that community,” he told the newspaper, adding that he suggested to the Republican candidate that he target religious extremism and terrorism rather than Muslims. He claimed that Trump was mindful of his “mistakes” and had reformed himself.

Tarar acknowledged the challenges Trump’s candidacy is facing in the wake of sinking poll numbers, but expressed the hope that the Republican can still defeat Hillary Clinton on November 8.

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