Top 5 Ways Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad is a Better American than Trump

Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American woman athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing the hijab or Muslim head-covering, is a fatal complication to Donald Trump’s Islamophobia.

Ms. Muhammad shared in a team bronze medal in the saber competition in fencing at Rio. Trump disguises his bigotry toward Muslims by invoking them in the same breath with immigration, but a majority of the over 1 percent of Americans who are Muslim are citizens. One major group of Muslims, the African-Americans, are much more long-standing Americans than he is.

Trump says there is something the matter with that community because it has a violent fringe, and wants to stop Muslims from coming to the US. But Trump’s ethnic groups, white Presbyterians and Germans, have both been known to have, let us say, a violent fringe, and we don’t ban them from travel to America. Here are some ways Ms. Muhammad is a much more exemplary American than Trump.

1. Trump’s grandfather immigrated to the US, and his mother was Scottish, so he is a hyphenated American. The Muhammad family was kidnapped from Africa, possibly from a Muslim village in Senegal or Nigeria, and brought to North America sometime in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. They’ve been here a damn sight longer than the Trumps and so by Trump’s lights have a better claim on American-ness than the Donald.

2. Her father worked as a policeman. In contrast, Trump cultivates the more violent bikers and white supremacists who hate law enforcement.

3. Her mother worked in special education. Children exposed to Trump’s serial ramblings will need an extra 12 years just to unlearn all the Trumpisms he has put in their heads.

4. Ms. Muhammad makes America proud and defends our diversity. Trump makes us ashamed and attacks people different from himself.

5. The team of which Ms. Muhammad is a part won a bronze medal for the USA at the Olympics in fencing. Trump fired people on a reality show for a few years.


Related video:

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “Late Show Fencing Challenge: Stephen vs. Ibtihaj Muhammad”

13 Responses

  1. Trump is demagogic and perfectly capable of expressing mutually exclusive views none of which he holds with any meaningful conviction. He is not a strategist so you cannot foretell what he might do or say from one minute to the next, he simply has one objective, to win, a characteristic he might be thought to share with Putin. Politicians wooing the public and then turning away from them in office is as old as society. Cuomo’s, You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose, is an echo of an early Roman proverb that men have one mind in the market place, another in the palace. An advantage of history is the way it illuminates the unchanging nature of human behaviour, and the inexorable consequences of certain recognisable processes. The real division in US society may have little to do with Muslims who are simply the focus of a deeper social discontent, founded on grotesque financial inequality and its attendant insecurities, that Trump seems to have found a way to tap, and what we see may be closer to the rise of Peisistratos, the Marius/Sylla conflict, the circumstances that brought Caesar to power, that overthrew the French and Russian monarchies, all based on financial inequality. If that is so, the more Trump is dismissed and vilified, however worthily, may simply serve to harden his support, and poll results showing him losing favour could be misleading since, like the UK Brexit, many who say they oppose him may turn out to be closet supporters.

  2. What keeps Trump competitive is the public’s distrust of Hillary Clinton. True, the bigots will always be attracted to other bigots, as Trump is their magnet of hate. If the Donald were to have run against someone like Tulsi Gabbard, well then it would be game over. In fact I’m not so sure Trump is even that serious to winning this election. No, Donald Trump’s biggest strength is Hillary Clinton, and America’s manufactured fear of all things Islamic. What should be questioned, is why Hillary is allowed to kill so many Muslims while they struggle to stay alive in their respective homelands. While Trump makes promises to ban the Muslim from their entering America, Hillary just wants to bomb then while they sleep in their beds.

  3. Being hyphenated American doesn’t make anyone less American. Also, I struggle tremendously to see how having a longer line of American ancestry makes one a better American. That Ms Ibtihaj Mohammad is an exemplary role model for all Americans, and Mr Trump is an example of what not to be in life is really beyond dispute. I just wish the arguments for such an easy conclusion would not include erroneous arguments that stigmatize those of us that are new immigrants or hyphenated Americans.

  4. Edward Furey

    Probably because that’s bullshit, in Muslim countries women have been heads of state (usually prime ministers) in Turkey, Pakistan, Senegal, Indonesia, Kosovo and Kyrgistan. Women make up about a third of the Egyptian Parliament, more than the U.S. Congress. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women can’t drive cars. Royal Brunei Airlines celebrated the county’s independence day this year by designating an all female flight deck crew to fly one of its Boeing 787s, the most advanced airliner in the world, from Brunei to Jedda, Saudi Arabia. Etc.

  5. Ms. Clinton’s believability problems stems from Fox News’ constant yapping about e-mails and Benghazi. Last time I checked she was Sec of State not Sec of Defense. State Dept. does not deploy troops or order air strikes. As far as e-mails, she stated that at sending/receiving none were marked classified, but were reclassified later (ex post facto ???).
    Ignorant, misogynist, bigoted, egotistical, trump should be ashamed of the way he represent the United States of America. If he had any self-awareness he could learn quite a few thing from Ms. Muhammed. I have and I thank her.

    • “Mrs. Clinton’s believability problems stems from Fox News’ constant yapping about e-mails and Benghazi. ” Thank you . Cannot be repeated enough!

  6. Anyone who wears a headscarf is an affront to ALL women. This is a medieval mindset. It has nothing to do with islam, it is simply reducing women to sexual objects. God doesn’t hate HAIR. But evidently MEN do. Or they want to own that hair. Once you dress up in hijab, you are saying that women are nothing – just objects, to be defined by men’s lust. If she had TAKEN OFF her hijab, she would be worthy of respect. In it, she is just an object of ridicule. And a symbol to all women that is not a real person, just someone who is willing to be defined by men. utter sadness.

    • It’s people like you, not an Olympic athlete who chooses to wear a head scarf, who make me embarrassed of my sex.

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