A US woman Muslim woman was ejected from a Donald Trump rally in South Carolina and booed by the audience while she was engaging in a silent protest against the Republican candidate.
Rose Hamid, a 56-year-old flight attendant from North Carolina, stood up silently in the stands directly behind Trump during Friday night's rally when the billionaire businessman suggested that refugees fleeing violence in Syria were affiliated with Islamic State militants.
At the rally, Hamid was wearing a white head scarf and a blue T-shirt made by her son emblazoned with the words, "Salam, I come in peace."
Hamid, who said she was a registered Democrat, said she came to the rally because she had a day off from work and wanted Trump supporters to meet a Muslim in real life. Hamid said she told herself she would stand up quietly if Trump said anything hateful about any group, not just Muslims.
As she stood, people in the crowd around her at the rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina started yelling "Trump! Trump!" as organizers earlier had instructed them to do. Soon afterwards, security officers showed up at her seat and, with little explanation, told her and a friend they had to leave the premises, she said.
"They didn't even tell us we were causing a disturbance," she said. "They just said, 'Come with me, come with me.' I was asking, 'Why? Why?' and they just said, 'Come with me.'"
Hamid said she was later told she was trespassing at a private event.
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According to Washington Post, she was also accused of "having a bomb" on her.
"I get why he's popular: he's an entertainer, he's engaging, there are certainly aspects that appeal to certain parts of society. He even has valid points in some cases," Hamid said in a telephone interview with Reuters from her home in Charlotte.
"But they have to recognize what they're supporting," Hamid said, referring to Trump's supporters. "His ramping up of his hateful rhetoric is just not what America is, and it's not who we are as a country."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group, on Saturday called on Trump to apologize after the incident, which ignited a firestorm on social media and prompted criticism by at least one fellow Republican.
"The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims and to all those who value our nation's traditions of religious diversity and civic participation," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).