By Jon Dougherty
A Muslim physician who said she “moves around” in the Muslim world refuted the mainstream media’s narrative on Saturday that POTUS Donald Trump’s rhetoric was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack in New Zealand.
Qanta Ahmed, a doctor and an associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, appeared on CNN and was asked to respond to a video played by host Fredericka Whitfield of the president on Friday using the word “invasion” in connection with the issue of illegal immigration on the southern border.
The word was also used in a manifesto written by the alleged New Zealand attacker, Brenton Tarrant, to describe Muslims streaming into Europe. Trump was also mentioned in the document.
Though admitting the word choice was “poor” and the timing “much worse,” Ahmed told Whitfield she needed to look at the bigger picture.
“There is nothing — the president has no responsibility if a fanatic mentions him in a manifesto. A fanatic could equally mention me. So, I don’t think that is his responsibility,” Ahmed said, noting further that she would like to see the president condemn all forms of “lethal bigotry.”
“And one thing the viewers should know, this president and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim world, in Egypt, in Oman, in Jordan, in Iraqi Kurdistan where this president is beloved,” she said.
In fact, she added, support for the president and the Republican Party has been strong in the Muslim world for years.
“This president and the Republican Party going back to George Bush is very dearly held,” she said.
“Today is the anniversary of … the massacre of 180,000 Kurds at the hands of Saddam Hussein. That only change would because of a Republican president. So, it is very important not to lose so much perspective that we start believing our entire government is Islamophobic. That is not the case,” she said.
Ahmed also noted that the phrase “Islamophobia” is very often used incorrectly.
“Islamophobia actually means the refusal to scrutinize or examine Islam or Islamism, Islamist institutions,” she noted.
“So we must distinguish lethal, diabolical, anti-Muslim xenophobia as is happening in Christchurch from Islamophobia. Why should we do that? Because, if we do not, we empower Islamists who wish to propagate the myth, the same myth that the white supremacist gunman wants us to believe that we are under siege in the secular world, that we are victims in the West,” said Ahmed.
The Muslim physician also proffered commentary regarding the anti-Semitism of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Muslim native of Somalia.
“Anti-Semitism occurred in Congress, and the reaction was when there was outrage that this was somehow hate directed at a Muslim who is spewing Islamist ideology. So, we have to be extremely clear about the language, clear about the narrative …,” she observed.
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