Elhamy Ibrahim, 62, (below) is a Muslim who does not like very many other Muslims these days, but loves Donald Trump. The Egyptian-born businessman who came to the United States in 1981 and became a citizen two decades later.
Tribune (h/t Mike F) He strongly backs Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US until authorities can determine if they pose a threat, even though such a ban could bring hassles for him if he traveled abroad. That is one reason why Ibrahim, who says he does not attend a mosque regularly, approached the real estate mogul after a rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and called out “I’m a Muslim and I love you!”
Ibrahim says Trump’s rhetoric, rather than being insensitive and exclusionary, addresses their fears of the violence they see occurring halfway across the globe. “If he stopped me coming into the US, I’d say ‘fine’,” Ibrahim said. “If he said he wanted a loyalty test, I’d be the first to sign it.”
As a university student, Ibrahim was jailed twice by the security services of the late President Anwar Sadat, then drafted to fight in Egypt’s 1973 war against Israel, where he was wounded by an explosion that left him blind in one eye. He said Egyptian security officials ripped his toenails out with pliers.
Despite the torture he suffered, Ibrahim is comfortable with Trump’s call to “bring back waterboarding and much worse” when interrogating terror suspects.
His favorite thing about Trump is his business background. “He’ll bring America back – I want to see America that I used to know, not the one that (President Barack) Obama and (former President) George W Bush destroyed.”
He also wants a president who sees Muslims the way he does. His mother and sister, who grew up wearing high heels and mid-length skirts, began to wear head scarves in the early 1990s to avoid harassment on the streets of Cairo. Egypt became a more conservative place.
“The media there, they make America seem evil,” he said. “They destroy the spirit of the younger generation, they make them stuck in religion like a bunch of sheep in a flock.”