First State Muslim community approaching Trump presidency "cautiously"
The First State is home to about 10,000 Muslims and that group is wondering what Donald Trump’s surprising win in the presidential race may mean for them.
Naveed Baqir, executive director of the Delaware Council on Global and Muslim Affairs, says a Trump presidency is not something local Muslims in general wanted.
Delaware’s Muslim Community Leadership Forum endorsed Hillary Clinton for president based largely on her experience, calling her the only qualified candidate in the race.
And there were also concerns about President-elect Trump’s campaign trail rhetoric stoking Islamophobia.
So, Baqir says he’s watching cautiously to see what President-elect Trump says and does, starting with his victory speech.
“His rhetoric was toned down. It was not as charging as it has been from candidate Trump," said Baqir. "And we certainly hope that things do not go in the worst direction and the country continues to move forward on the way of progress in developing understanding for different types of people.”
But Baqir adds the jury remains out on the question if Trump will maintain that tone and represent all Americans.
“Our fear is if the rhetoric from Candidate Trump continues from President Trump, it will disenfranchise the Muslim community, just like it would disenfranchise a lot of other groups of people," said Baqir. "He has a very delicate task in front of him."
Baqir adds last night’s result shows that half the country does not like the direction the country is going and some of the issues fueling that dissatisfaction -- the economy, healthcare, education and public safety - are ones that the Muslim community also want to see addressed.