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I am Somali American Muslim, I Voted for Trump and I am attending the inauguration

photo courtesy Faisal Derie

It is certainly of interest when a Muslim immigrant and consistent democratic supporter casts his vote for the least likely candidate, Donald Trump. President Elect Trump has made several varying statements on his opinions and beliefs in regards to the particular descriptions that this man embodies. As a Somali man who actively practices Islam, Faisal Derie does not necessarily seem like he would support the loud-mouthed candidate. His disdain for the democratic candidate’s foreign policy and domestic agenda led him to believe that he was making the right decision.

According to Faisal, the democratic party and its candidates only look for votes and they only know how to show sympathy and that is  how they gain the new immigrants votes, including the newly arrived Somali American community. Faisal continued to say, “Our small businesses are not sustainable right now and the republicans are good for small businesses”.

Also, Derie thinks the values of the Somali community aligns well with the republican party. We should stop the idea that if we don’t get welfare assistant, we will all die, he stated.  He continued to say, “The most needed elders and families who are eligible during the transition period should get the help they need, but not young people and adults who can earn income with dignity through employment or create their own businesses”.

Faisal Derie, who is well known within the Somali American community in the Twin Cities, believes president elect Donald Trump will be good for the county, improve the economy and as a president he is not thinking about personal financial gain. “Infact, no one financed his campaign, he fought the establishment and that is why both political parties did not want him to win the election”, Derie said.

Some may recall that President Elect Donald Trump offended the portion of the populace that is Somali-American when he insinuated that it was their fault crime rates were up in the state. There are, of course, several things about this accusation that are unfounded. First and foremost, the crime rates in the state of Maine had actually gone down since the influx of Somali immigrants in the 1990s, and the police from several different cities throughout the state attested that no one from the campaign had requested information in regards to crime rates at all. Despite the negativity that this instance carries with it, Derie still did not think that voting for Hillary Clinton was a beneficial alternative.

Trump’s victory during the presidential race had many people concerned for their own personal well being, including a plethora of Somali immigrants throughout the nation. Days before he had been declared the victor, Trump held a rally in Twin Cities based on harmful rhetoric against the Somali refugees. He claimed that they were a strain on the nation, and subsequently that he would do his best to deport them. This painful attack on the defining characteristics of this man, Faisal Derie, did nothing to sway his decision, however. None of the hazardous and hateful speech on the Islamic faith nor the atrocious verbal assaults laundered at immigrants of all types could dissuade this Faisal Derie from voting against his own best interests and what he sees as the best interest for his community.

Whether Derie wants to be deported or merely does not care about his fellow Muslim- and Somali-Americans is hard to say. In the end, it would appear that he valued the sociopolitical conundrums of bigotry and propaganda over personal disputes with the foreign policy and domestic agenda of Clinton. He does not regret his support of the candidate, and he will be attending the inauguration of the president elect this Friday.

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