A Muslim woman wearing a hijab was forced to leave a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally Friday after she staged a silent protest against the Republican front-runner, who in December called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Police escorted Rose Hamid, 56, from the rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina, after she and another person stood in silence when Trump spoke about Syrian refugees entering the United States. According to CNN, Hamid was sitting in the stands directly behind Trump and stood up when he suggested that Syrians fleeing the war in their country were affiliated with the Islamic State terror group.
Televised images showed Hamid wearing the Muslim head covering along with a shirt that read, "Salam. I come in peace." Stitched to the garment was a yellow Star of David that evoked memories of badges that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. The word "Muslim" was printed on the star.
The video also showed Hamid being escorted from the rally while Trump supporters waved signs bearing his name and, in some cases, heckled her.
Hamid later told CNN one man shouted, "Get out. Do you have a bomb? Do you have a bomb?" Hamid, however, also said that as she was being led out, one woman reached over to shake her hand and told her, "I'm so sorry this is happening to you."
Hamid told the network she sincerely believed that if people got to know each other one on one, they'd stop being afraid of each other. She said the incident was a vivid example of what happens when "you start using this hateful rhetoric and how it can incite a crowd."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, denounced the incident and called on Trump to apologize, saying, "The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims."
There was no immediate comment from the Trump campaign, although the candidate, in comments about the fracas, was quoted as saying, "There is hatred against us that is unbelievable. It's their hatred, it's not our hatred."
Last month, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States, saying such a ban should remain in place until the government "can figure out" Muslim attitudes toward the U.S. in the wake of deadly shootings in California. In announcing the plan, Trump alleged that polling data showed "great hatred toward Americans by large segments of the Muslim population."
Virulent statements against Muslims are nothing new for Trump, who has called on the government to monitor mosques and has refused to rule out his earlier proposal to enter the names of Muslims in America into a database.