Local Muslims address concerns, share reaction to Trump's election

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - For four Danville Muslims, Donald Trump's remarks about Muslims over the course of his campaign don't mean much.

"A lot of what he says is emotionally charged to get an emotional response," said Abdul Hakim Abdullah, President of Virginia's Muslim Men In Action chapter.

They believe now that Trump is president, the government's system of checks and balances will limit what he says and does regarding Muslims in the United States and Muslims who want to come to the United States.

Abdullah Zahid says the biggest check of all is the American people and he is confident that Americans will not allow Trump to act on his opinions about Muslims.

"The people actually run this country, not Donald Trump," said Zahid.

The men shared their thoughts at a news conference on Wednesday, which they called in order to encourage Muslims in Danville and around the country to stop selling alcohol, drugs and adult magazines.

Abdullah said it is strictly against the religion and is giving a bad name to Muslims. He said voicing his concerns is part of a nationwide effort underway by all MMIA chapters.

As for Trump though, the four men also believe that he does not believe all of the things he says about Muslims and that if he were to get to know Muslims, his opinions about them would change.

If that doesn't happen though, Muslims could have a harder time immigrating to the United States or may not even be allowed at all.

But even though members of Danville's Islamic community have family in the Middle East, they're not worried about this potential becoming a reality.

"No matter what he thinks, he has to get along with what the government has to say," said Zafar Ahmad. "So, it really doesn't concern us much. I think that was a big talk before the election. I think now it's going to be a totally different game."

Abdullah also believes Trump will change his game.

"When you have Muslims that still have relatives in the country that are hard-working, honest Muslims here and they just want to get their families out of these war-torn countries and stuff like that I think he will have to hear that," Abdullah stressed.

The four Muslims said Donald Trump's toned down acceptance speech Tuesday night gives them hope that he will, in fact, change as time goes on.

Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved