In one fell swoop, Donald Trump insulted some members of the Muslim community and U.S. Military and the backlash could mean big trouble for the Trump campaign.
The Republican nominee came under fire for a very public feud with the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in combat.
“It’s something that no American should accept, whether Republican or Democrat it should be something that we all condemn in a united fashion,” said Shakil Choudhury.
A representative for the North Austin Muslim Community Center, Choudhury said the families of all fallen soldiers, known as gold star families, deserve respect regardless of religion or race.
“He came across as insensitive to military sacrifice, to military families,” Jim Henson said of Trump’s commentary
Director of the Texas Politics Project, Henson said Trump not only offended Muslims but also some members of the U.S. Military and their families.
“The perceived disrespect for the military is a much more fundamental problem because it cuts at the heart of attitudes that are probably very common among Republicans,” Henson said.
A group of veterans rallied on Capitol Hill Thursday to urge GOP leaders to ‘unendorse’ Trump.
The thought of Trump as President, “gives me shivers,” Choudhury said.
A Muslim-American, Choudhury said he shares the conservative values of the Republican Party but he recently declared himself an Independent. “In my good conscious I could never vote for Trump,” Choudhury said.
Despite the backlash from the battle with a gold star family and the uproar that followed, Trump doubled down on his proposal to ban any Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S.
“What we are seeing today is dangerous thinking and dangerous thoughts,” Choudhury said Trump’s rhetoric inflames intolerance and feeds Islamophobia. “It is most concerning to me as an American that anyone should feel unsafe in their own country or feel threatened for the religion that they practice.”
Choudhury, like most Americans, is concerned about national security and the threat of ISIS. “They certainly don’t stand for Islam, they certainly don’t stand for what my religion teaches us,” Choudhury said.
He believes any attempt to label an entire religion as suspicious or dangerous poses threatens the civil liberties of every American.
Choudhury wants voters to look outside their political parties to protect what he considers to be the nation’s core values.
The latest poll from CNN/ORC shows Hillary Clinton now leads Trump 45 to 37-percent with the Independents at 12-percent.
A Fox News poll put Clinton ten points ahead of Trump and found nearly 70-percent of people polled said Trump’s comments to the gold star family were “out of bounds.”
How Texas voters will react to the controversy remains to be seen. A June poll by the Texas Politics Project found more than half of the voters polled in the state support the temporary ban on Muslim immigration.
However, a 2015 poll found an overwhelming majority of Texans polled ranked the military as the most highly regarded institution in society.
Trump lashed out at Ghazala and Khizr Khan after the Democratic National Convention, where Khizr criticized Trump and suggested he read the U.S. Constitution.
The Khan’s son, 27-Year-Old Army Captain Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004.
“Anything beyond honoring that sacrifice and taking it to the level of actually humiliating his mother, it’s definitely putting salt in the wound,” Choudhury, a representative for the North Austin Muslim Community Center.
Trump implied Ghazala, the fallen soldier’s mother, stood silent on stage because she was not allowed to speak.
On Thursday, Trump said K. Khan was upset by his plan to keep terrorists out of the U.S.
“When you have radical Islamic terrorists probably all over the place, we’re allowing them to come in by the thousands and thousands. And I think that’s what bothered Mr. Khan more than anything else,” Trump told ABC6 in Columbus, OH.
Despite the backlash from both Democrats and Republicans Trump supporters remain enthusiastic and loyal at jam packed campaign rallies.