US Muslim leaders aghast at Trump victory
Fears grow of worsening relationship with US after Donald Trump’s presidential win
Muslim leaders and activists across Africa have reacted negatively to Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S presidential election, with some expressing fears he could intensify global conflict.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in South Africa on Friday, Iqbal Jassat, an executive of Islamic advocacy group, the Media Review Network, said he feared Muslims will be targeted under a Trump administration:
“We can expect an intensification of the ‘war of terror’ along with all illegal activities spawned by it, such as rendition, torture, detention, drone warfare and Guantanamo-type hell holes.”
He said the election of Trump would have grave consequences for Muslims across the world, but most especially those in the Middle East.
“Islamophobia, as espoused by Trump and the military ambitions of his party to wipe out what it describes as ‘Islamism’ are interconnected. The danger thus posed cannot be confined to certain geographical locations,” Jassat said.
Jassat claimed that although there was no imminent threat to Muslims in South Africa, Trump’s presidency would affirm an extreme right-wing agenda which is at the core of the U.S. Republican Party.
“It is likely therefore that notwithstanding South Africa’s sovereign status, the Trump administration is more than likely to expand its manipulation here,” he added.
A leader of Mozambique’s Muslim community, Sheikh Ameen Uddin, told Anadolu Agency he was astonished that Americans could elect Trump despite his rhetoric’s about minorities and Muslims in the United States.
“This shows there is moral degeneration in the United States,” he said via telephone from Mozambique’s capital Maputo.
Ameen Uddin urged Muslims to focus more on solving their personal problems instead of worrying about who won the U.S. election.
Nigeria’s Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) said the election of Trump represents “unimaginable horror” with potential damage across the world.
MPAC claimed the comments by Trump about Muslims and Islam show he is an “unfortunate tragedy”.
“His horrible rhetoric against the American-Muslim community and Islam in general show the depth of his ignorance and the shallowness of his thoughts,” Disu Kamor told Anadolu Agency.
He said American Muslims should view the election of Trump and his time in office as a good opportunity for them to close ranks, roll up their sleeves, build bridges and exemplify the prophetic tradition with honor and pride.
“Good or bad, God Almighty is the Lord of all seasons,” he added.
Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, a spokesperson of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council said Trump’s warning that he would stop Muslims from visiting the United States would not harm them because they are not required by their faith to visit the U.S.
“As Muslims we are only obligated to go to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and not the U.S.,” he said.
Mutumba claimed the U.S. had been fighting Islam since the reign of President George Bush Senior.
“What Trump said is not new. Islam is for Allah, it can’t be erased. As a leader, Trump should think twice, seek peace and keep peace,” Mutumba said.
Meanwhile, Shariff Hussein from the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims told Anadolu Agency he hopes utterances made by Trump during his election campaign were only aimed at winning the contest.