Belfast Telegraph

Aziz Ansari writes scathing article on Donald Trump

Aziz Ansari has taken aim at Donald Trump for encouraging prejudice against Muslim Americans.

Comedian Aziz Ansari has slammed U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump for spreading hate against Muslims in a passionate article.

The former Parks and Recreation star, who is the son of Muslim immigrants from India, wrote the op-ed titled "Aziz Ansari: Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family" for the New York Times newspaper on Sunday (26Jun16) in which he slams Trump for promoting "vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric" which helps create a culture where Muslims are associated with terrorists.

"Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels," Aziz writes. "It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense."

After Muslim gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida on 12 June (16), Aziz called his mother and asked her to pray at home rather than attend a mosque because he feared repercussions.

Following the attack, his friend told him she is fed up of people assuming she has more in common with Mateen than with the victims because of her religion or skin colour. Aziz adds, "I myself am not a religious person, but after these attacks, anyone that even looks like they might be Muslim understands the feelings my friend described. There is a strange feeling that you must almost prove yourself worthy of feeling sad and scared like everyone else."

He calls Trump out for only focusing on crimes committed by Muslims, when there have been plenty of white male gunmen in shootings across the U.S.

"According to reporting by Mother Jones, since 9/11, there have been 49 mass shootings in this country, and more than half of those were perpetrated by white males," he continues. "I doubt we’ll hear Mr. Trump make a speech asking his fellow white males to tell authorities 'who the bad ones are,' or call for restricting white males’ freedoms."

Aziz blasts Trump for being unable to address the real problems behind such attacks, such as gun control and the need for tougher background checks, and for celebrating after the Orlando attack with the tweet, "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism."

The article was first published online on Friday (24Jun16).

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