It’s already happening. A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump is accused of attacking a Muslim woman wearing her hijab at JFK airport. The man from Massachusetts allegedly kept shouting obscenities at the woman and physically abused her, according to PressTV.
Shouting that President Trump “will get rid of you all,” the man, identified as Robin Rhodes, allegedly attacked a Delta Airlines employee, a Muslim woman named Rabeeya Khan, who was sitting in her office and was wearing a hijab.
“Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You see what happens,” Rhodes reportedly told her.
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The incident took place on Wednesday night, the same day it was reported that Trump was due to sign an executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the United States.
Full description: Trump supporter’s attack on Muslim woman
On January 25, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Rhodes, who was awaiting a connecting flight, allegedly came up to the Muslim woman while she was sitting in her office and started cursing at her. Telling her that the President will kick out all Muslims out of the U.S., Rhodes started mocking her religion, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Rhodes then reportedly asked Khan, who wears a hijab, if she was praying and then punched the door into her office, which hit the back of her chair. Terrified for her life, the Muslim woman asked Rhodes if she had done anything wrong to him.
All the Trump supporter replied was, “You did nothing,” before he allegedly kicked her in the leg.
The shocked woman ran out of her office, but Rhodes allegedly started following her. At one point, the man reportedly got down on his knees and started bowing down to imitate how Muslim believers pray. Witnesses at the airport that night said the entire incident was accompanied by Rhodes shouting obscenities at the Muslim woman in front of them. Rhodes was charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing and harassment, and hate crimes.
During his arrest, the Trump supporter allegedly stated to police, “I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman because their back was to me and they had something covering their head.”
Has Trump triggered anti-Muslim fever in America?
While reports indicate that the Trump administration is considering creating a so-called “Muslim registry,” a database of Muslim Americans, the President is expected in the coming days to sign an executive order that includes a ban on refugees and suspension of visas for citizens of seven Muslim countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen).
In addition to that, the cyber-security adviser for the Trump administration has reportedly proposed using electronic tagging devices to track and monitor Muslims in the U.S. Human Rights Watch has urged the President to abandon his controversial campaign pledges, as they, if implemented, would harm millions of people, both in the U.S. and around the world.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” In his first media interview after being sworn in as President on Friday, Trump explained on ABC News on Wednesday that he’s not banning all Muslims, only those coming from countries with “tremendous terror.”
He insisted that America is already having “enough problems” and that there are people who want to come to the U.S. to do “tremendous destruction.” Trump did not, however, address the reports which suggest that his administration plans to create a Muslim registry.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer reiterated that the President’s “guiding principle” is to keep America “safe” and hinted that people from Muslim-majority countries have a “predisposition” to have ties to terrorism.
“And allowing people who are from a country that has a propensity to do us harm, to make sure we take the necessary steps to ensure that the people who come to this country, especially areas that have a predisposition — if you will — or a higher degree of concern, that we take the appropriate steps to make sure that they’re coming to this country for all the right reasons.”
How does the Muslim ban affect American Muslims?
When the executive order takes effect, it could set precedent for more criminalization of Muslims living in the U.S. and trigger an uptick in hate crimes against American Muslims. The controversial executive order could also lay out the groundwork for stripping American Muslims of their privacy and civil liberties. Citing congressional aides and immigration experts, Reuters reported that Trump’s new executive order could include the creation of a biometric entry-exit system.
That would mean the U.S. government would have a registry of non-citizens entering and exiting the country. Rudy Giuliani, cyber-security adviser for Trump, reportedly said it would be a good idea to implement the use of electronic tagging devices to track and monitor Muslims in the United States.
Which countries could Trump include on Muslim ban list next?
While Trump’s Muslim ban currently includes only seven Islamic countries, there’s a high chance new countries could be added to the infamous list.
While many experts agree that Afghanistan could be included in the list next, some say Pakistan could also make it onto the Muslim ban list. First of all, the nuclear-armed South Asian country is geographically close to war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran (the latter two are already on the list). Second of all, the U.S. believes Pakistan is responsible for the spread of terrorism in the region and accused the country of sheltering terrorist groups.
Although this one sounds less feasible, Turkey, with its more than 15 terror attacks in the past 12 months, could also end up on Trump’s Muslim ban list. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also fit Trump’s criteria of banning Muslim-majority countries. A large number of people from the UAE have been joining ISIS, and contributions to the terrorist group Hamas are legal there.