Donald Trump says “Islam hates us,” but a nine-year-old says “Many Muslims are kind”

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Screenshot of CNN interview of Donald Trump.

Screenshot of CNN interview of Donald Trump.

“Many Muslims are kind.”

That’s how my son ended our conversation yesterday as I dropped him off at school. He wasn’t making a political statement. He was thinking aloud after we talked about why Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America.

My son’s third-grade class happens to have a lot of students from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. We live in a college town with many families from overseas. His class specializes in helping students whose second language is English. The school offers an English-Spanish class, and there are almost enough students for an Arabic-English class, too.

My son was worried because his friends have been talking about how they are going to be deported if/when Trump becomes president.

“Will Ahmad need to leave America? He’s my best friend.”

“No. Trump won’t be president. Even if he is, what he wants to do is illegal.”

“You promise? You double-pinky promise?”

I double-pinky promised.

He felt better.

I felt awful.

On Wednesday, Cokie Roberts pressed Trump on how his rhetoric is impacting children. She asked Trump if he was proud of reports that some white children use comments about deportation as taunts to other children.

“What about what children are hearing from you and how they are responding to you?” asked Roberts. “What about the children?”

It’s a question that remains unanswered.

Last night, my son saw that the debate was on TV. He pointed and asked if that was Donald Trump. I told him it was. My son turned down both his thumbs and booed him.

Screenshot of CNN interview of Donald Trump.

Screenshot of CNN interview of Donald Trump.

He sat down to watch just as Trump was asked if he meant all 1.6 billion Muslims when he told CNN this week, “Islam hates us.”

“I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them,” Trump replied. A moment later he said that he stood by his statement exactly as he said it.

“That’s not true! They don’t hate us!” my son said to the TV.

Some in the crowd cheered.

“Why is everyone cheering?”

“Not everyone. But some are. There are some who hate Muslims, and they like it when Trump says hateful things about them.”

My son couldn’t quite understand why they hated Muslims. His experience is that many Muslims are kind. They’re his friends. And he can feel their fear when he hears people cheer statements about Islam hating America.

He was confused and concerned.

And to be honest, so am I.

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  • Rigo

    While completing undergrad at SIUC, I had the pleasure of making several Muslim friends myself. My family and I grew particularly close with one Saudi family there. Today we live in Phoenix and they have gone back to Saudi Arabia, but we try to keep in touch.

    During this election cycle I’ve had several similar conversations with my 10 year old daughter, who wonders why Trump hates both Muslims like her friend Ali, as well as Mexicans like her father.

    I’ve had to try and explain to her why even though Ali and his family are super nice, there are people out there that hate them and think they want to hurt us. I have also had to try and explain why even though I am a naturalized American citizen and a military veteran, there are people out there who do not like me because of the color of my skin and my country of birth.

    All I can do is reassure my daughter that everything will be alright, knowing well that those people will still harbor those same feelings long after Trump is…

  • samuel johnston

    Mr. Grant,
    It ain’t rocket science. Today Islam has large followings that do hate us. Trump has a large following that hates them back- and for cause.
    Both Islam and Christianity a have long history of conflict and wars. Spain drove the Muslims out, several centuries after their armies had fought their way in.
    Individual people are both good and bad everywhere. Your son may not yet be ready to receive this information, but that does not make it untrue.

  • G Key

    As I write this, excerpts of Mr. Trump’s recent speeches are being rebroadcast on the TV. I keep hearing myself blurting out “Hitler!” over and over, as he calls protesters at his speeches “very bad people”, and yells “Get him outa here!”, and he says “In the good old days we’d carry ’em out on a stretcher…Now they can hit us [even as the camera shows they’re not hitting anyone] and we’re not allowed to hit ’em back”, and he tells his followers “We have to get tough” with protestors, and immigrants, and Muslims, etc., etc., etc.

    Look what he brings out in people: his proud angry nationalist believers cheer him like he’s the new Messiah — exactly as 1930s & ’40s Germans cheered their Führer. He’s on the fast-track to become the 2nd-most-worshipped temper tantrum tyrant ever.

    His hate-filled rhetoric — ever innocent, always devoid of apology — screams nonstop, differing day-to-day only in its broadening scope.

    Which groups will he condemn next?

  • Fran

    There are both “good” and “bad” people in every nation, culture, race and religion. It’s definitely wrong for anyone to “label” an entire group of people as bad or violent people. It’s encouraging to know that only “meek” or good-hearted people of all nations, cultures, race and religions will inherit the earth and that all bad or violent persons will soon no longer exist (Psalm 37:10,11; Isaiah 11:4; Matthew 5:5) to make life miserable for all the meek.

  • Charles Miller

    ?”(W)hat he wants to do is illegal.”…..which leads to this question. Can we count on the rule of law if Trump gets elected? After all, internment and mass deportations of Japanese Americans was arguably a violation of law, and with so many followers eager to become little Eichmanns mass persecutions of others is not only possible, but a distinct possibility.

  • Pingback: Political turmoil is a ‘cancer’ on US society, says Chicago archbishop – Religion News Service – NewsBlog()

  • Eureka

    Well said Mr. Grant. Perhaps you want to even consider what a 10-year old Muslim child also thinks these days!

  • Pingback: Donald Trump says “Islam hates us,” but a nine-year-old says “Many Muslims are kind” – The Muslim Times()

  • Debbo

    Mr. Johnston, do you have any numbers on this? For instance, how many Muslim people are there in the world? And what percentage of them hate “us”? Who, exactly, is “us”? How do you determine what level of disagreement or dislike rises to the level of hate?

    Just for my curiosity, are you one of “us” who hates “them”?

    Last, I guarantee I will send you $100 if you actually have any hard evidence to back up your comment. I’m not worried. I think you are simply giving vent to your own fear of the “other”.

  • Scott Shaver

    Regardless of the numbers indicating haters vs non-haters, muslims and non-muslims, my basic problem with this article is granting greater credibility to a nine-year-old vs adults. The nine-year old is minor.

  • Poor kid.
    What a shameful time in America.
    We have nothing to fear from Muslims.

  • Bob blacksmith

    I think you are totally wrong. The entire world hates our foreign policy, our government, and I’m willing to bet they hate their own government, and almost all policy makers. It wouldn’t be to far fetched to say almost all governments are corrupt. The Spanish did not drive Muslims out of Spain. They killed or drove out Islam. They were all Spanish Muslims. You are talking about a country which was Muslim for over 700 years. That is older than the United States. There is not a long history of clashes between Islam and Christianity. There were a handful of some bloody wars but anyone who has studied those wars know that the governments of that time used religion to rile up the masses. Everyone hates injustice, oppression, and unjust wars.

  • Tom

    Things were looking good in 1917 relatively speaking.Allies winning , Ottomans finally defeated and pushed out of Europe, thank God.And then Zionists get this “Jewish State Thing ” started. Then between the British carving up the Ottoman Empire and Zionists stirring up Levant. We get a perpetual war . Good job Zionists!

  • Tom

    Bob- It was more than just a “handful of bloody wars” and it lasted a “long time” . Against Christians it lasted from right after the death of Mohammed until essentially the defeat of the Ottomans in WW1. The largest genicide in history was the slaughter of Hindus and Buddhists -400 million people by Arabs, Turks, Afghans and Moghuls. And it’s still going.on .I don’t know where you get your info, but it isn’t accurate.

  • samuel johnston

    Mr, Debbo,
    These brief comments are, of necessity, generalities. Islam, worldwide, has the largest number of adherents of any religion. Like Christianity, Islam is an intolerant monotheism. Unlike Christianity, its prophet was a man who lead armies of conquest. The Twin Towers bombing was inspired by religion, and celebrated by religious devotees who denounced the U.S., often as the “Great Satan”.
    I hate those who claim to be virtuous, yet cheer murder and mayhem. We have our share here. As I said, individuals are the same everywhere, but institutions and traditions vary. Some are more dangerous than others. ISIS is a tiny minority of Islam, but it is despicable, as are those who advocate killing as retribution for exercising free speech, however critical and insulting.

  • samuel johnston

    Gee Max. You might have a problem with those that think an atheist deserves to be killed.