Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump got a taste of the disgust and anger of New Yorkers for his invective against Muslims last week when members of the City Council, led by Council’s Democratic speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito rallied against the Republican frontrunner on the steps of City Hall Dec. 9. The rally was also joined by a group of interfaith leaders.
Chanting “enough is enough” and “dump Trump,” council members took part in the rally condemning Trump’s comments in which he called a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.
According to a POLITICO New York report, Mark-Viverito who has criticized Trump for his comments about Latinos, immigrants and women — warned about the danger of Trump’s inflammatory language, adding that bias attacks in the city would not be tolerated. “We will not let Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric go unchecked and unchallenged. There’s nothing left to say about Donald Trump, except that he is a disgusting, racist demagogue who has no business running for president, period.”
Mark-Viverito — who has criticized Trump in the past for his comments about Latinos, immigrants and women — warned about the danger of Trump’s inflammatory language, adding that bias attacks in the city would not be tolerated.
“What Donald Trump has called for — banning Muslims from entering our nation — is xenophobic, racist, Islamophobic, and his fear-mongering is fanning hate,” Mark-Viverito was quoted as saying. “We will not let Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric go unchecked and unchallenged. There’s nothing left to say about Donald Trump, except that he is a disgusting, racist demagogue who has no business running for president, period.”
Trump reacted to the rally as well. In an emailed statement responding to the rally, Trump told POLITICO New York that perhaps Mark-Viverito should focus on the “filthy conditions of New York city.” A few days before the rally and the charges against him, responded to criticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio by calling him the “worst mayor in the United States” and criticizing “the dirty streets, the homeless and crime.”
Imam Khalid Latif, the executive director for the Islamic Center at New York University, said the anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by Trump’s remarks is “arguably worse” than what Muslims experienced in the days and months after the Sept. 11attacks, according to the report.
“The disparaging comments Donald Trump had made over the course of his campaign against minorities of all kinds — including Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, those with special needs and others — are but symptoms of a deeper and ever-going bigotry that our nation must confront,” Latif was quoted as saying.
Rabbi Bob Kaplan of the Jewish Communities Relations Council said in a statement that when someone has a faith and when someone is a Muslim (to say)that they simply should not be allowed to come to our country, our world, our democracy, is simply unacceptable. “I am asking all of our fellow Americans to take the scales off of their eyes and recognize that hatred can only lead to war,” said the Rev. Que English of the Bronx Christian Fellowship, according to a Tasnim news agency release.
At one point, a heckler tried to defend Trump, but her shouts were drowned out by chants of “enough is enough,” CBS News was quoted as saying by Tasnim.