56-year-old Rose Hamid stood in silent protest behind Donald Trump during a rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on Friday night. Despite not saying anything, her presence prompted the crowd to begin chanting the candidates name, leading to Trump calling for security to escort her from the building. Hamid spoke to CNN by phone shortly after her expulsion and she noted that crowd seemed to grown more hostile as the group energized:
Despite her silence, Trump supporters around her began chanting Trump’s name — as instructed by Trump campaign staff before the event in case of protests — and pointed at Hamid and Marty Rosenbluth, the man alongside her who stood up as well.
As they were escorted out, Trump supporters roared — booing the pair and shouting at them to “get out.” One person shouted, “You have a bomb, you have a bomb,” according to Hamid.
“The ugliness really came out fast and that’s really scary,” Hamid told CNN in a phone interview after she was ejected.
Three more also attended wearing stars similar to Hamid’s — a reference to the stars forced on Jews during the Holocaust — and they were also escorted from the building. Trump commented on the disturbance slightly during the event, but his campaign has not responded officially despite calls for an apology:
“There is hatred against us that is unbelievable,” Trump said. “It’s their hatred, it’s not our hatred.”
Soon after the incident, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim civil liberties group, called on Trump to apologize.
“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,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement. “Donald Trump should issue a public apology to the Muslim woman kicked out of his rally and make a clear statement that American Muslims are welcome as fellow citizens and as participants in the nation’s political process.”
Hadid had told reporters before the rally that did not come to shout or cause a scene, but it seems that still didn’t work.
“I figured that most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim so I figured that I’d give them the opportunity to meet one,” she said, wearing a shirt that read “Salam, I come in peace.” “I really don’t plan to say anything. I don’t want to be disrespectful but if he says something that I feel needs answering I might — we’ll just see what strikes me.”
Hamid noted that she places more blame on Trump’s rhetoric than on the people themselves, noting that people did not begin tossing barbs at her until the entire group joined in during her exit.