‘If Donald Trump thought I was a Muslim, I’d be proud’ – turban-wearing Sikh who interrupted rally says he wanted to challenge candidate’s ‘old man mutterings’
- Donald Trump called out a man wearing a turban protesting at his campaign rally in Iowa Sunday while he was being ejected
- Today Arish Singh, 35, of Iowa City, tells Daily Mail Online he was the protester and speaks of pride at ‘civil disobedience’
- As he was being ejected, Trump said: ‘He wasn’t wearing one of those hats, was he? Was he wearing one of those things?’
- Singh says he is proud if his turban – a sign of his Sikh faith – caused him to be confused with Muslims and added: ‘I will be back at his next rally.’
A Sikh protester who was manhandled out of a Donald Trump rally today hit back at the Republican presidential candidate branding him as ‘childish’.
Arish Singh, who wears a red turban,was ejected from Trump’s rally in Muscatine, Iowa yesterday after unfurling a banner saying ‘Stop Hate’.
Trump interrupted his address to the rally as Singh, 35, was ejected along with his friend Taylor Williams as the crowd repeatedly chanted ‘ USA, USA’.
Trump watched from the platform as Singh was jeered and forced out by security officials and told his audience: ‘He wasn’t wearing one of those hats was he? And he never will, and that’s okay because we got to do something folks because it’s not working.’
Minutes after the flare up, Trump went onto talk about terrorist attacks in Paris and California and referred to ‘hats’ several times.
It was unclear whether it was a reference to Singh’s turban but there was outrage on Twitter that such a link could be made.
Today Singh, a writer and comedian from Iowa City, Iowa, said he was unsure whether Trump had confused his turban for an Islamic headdress.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Mail Online he said: ‘I am not sure what he meant when he used the word “hat”.
‘But if he thought I was a Muslim, I would not have a problem with that because we all have to stand with the Muslims and reject the hate that is being directed towards them.
‘How can anybody stand up and say Muslims should be banned from this country?’
He admitted he had interrupted Trump’s address and his behavior had provoked Trump supporters.
The two protesters hold a sign that reads ‘Stop hate’ after interrupting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during his speech at Muscatine High School
The protester wearing the red turban (above) was removed by security after interrupting Trump with another protester
The Republican presidential candidate’s rally in Muscatine, Iowa was interrupted by a group of protesters on Sunday
Speaking out: Comedian Arish Singh, whose act includes a satire aimed at Jeff Dunham, with a dummy who is a white terrorist
But he added: ‘This country has a history of civil disobedience and I am proud of that.
‘I want to speak out against hate and I will be back at his rally in Iowa on Tuesday.
‘Trump comes across as childish and sometimes he just mutters like an old man who has no control of what he is saying.
‘But he is in an important position because he is saying stuff from the position of a billionaire and the media is not challenging him.
‘He is getting the publicity, but I believe he is trying to make up for his failings earlier in his life and he just speaks a lot without thinking first.’
Singh said he was moved to carry out his personal protest because he believed Trump had been attracting support from white supremacists.
He repeated claims which have surfaced of robocalls being made by white supremacist groups urging support for Trump and said he wanted to see the Republican frontrunner disavow such support.
‘I know that through robo calling, these white supremacists are showing their support for him and saying things like “America needs to be free of Muslims”.
‘Trump should speak out against White supremacists and say he doesn’t want their support. He should not allow them to support him and distance himself.
‘I did shout “why do you give shelter to white supremacists and why do we have white supremacists robocalling in Iowa?”
‘Since 9/11 attacks on Muslims as well as Sikhs who have been wrongly identified as Muslims have increased.
Speaking to the two protesters being removed, the billionaire businessman said: ‘Bye. Bye. Goodbye’
Once the man wearing the turban and another protester were escorted out by security, video of the rally shows the audience erupting with loud applause, cheers and chants of ‘USA! USA! USA!’
‘Those people who cannot tell the difference between a Muslim and a Sikh should be embarrassed of themselves.
‘But I stand with the Muslims and I will always do what I can to stop the hating.’
He said it was part of the Sikh tradition to stand up to injustice, adding: ‘We have to end all hate. We must not let it grow in America or anywhere.’
Singh uses his comedy act for political satire, including an attack on the comedian Jeff Dunham.
Dunham has angered some Sikhs by using a turban-wearing dummy who is supposed to be ‘Achmed the dead terrorist’, a hapless dead suicide bomber.
Singh added: ‘Dunham is a ventriloquist and stand up who has made an obscene amount of money using puppets to make bases stereotypes by packaging it as “family friendly” fare.
‘His “terrorist” puppet Achmed is supposed to be satirizing jihads but really just makes ethnic jokes about Muslims.
‘I’m all for real satire of jihadis. I loved the Four Lions film, but this is just getting applause for affirming and parading around stereotypes and dehumanizing caricatures.
‘There is no connection to Trump in particular here (in the puppet act) other than that both he and Dunham do this dog-whistling to affirm their audience’s prejudices.’
At the time of Singh’s protest, Trump was speaking about the September 11 terror attacks and the San Bernardino shooting.
‘We have radical Islamic terror going on all over the place, all over the world, and we have a president that won’t say it,’ the GOP front-runner said.
‘When planes fly into the World Trade Center, and into the Pentagon, and wherever the third plane was going.
‘When people are shooting their friends in California, when they’re shooting their friends …’
Trump abruptly stopped speaking as Singh stood up to reveal a sign reading ‘Stop Hate’.
The crowd then erupted in chants of ‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ and grew louder.
Prior to his campaign event’s start, an announcement has been read in the last few months telling his supporters to ‘not harm a protester’ but instead chant ‘Trump, Trump, Trump.’
According to ABC News, the chants alert security that a protester is in the audience.
Next Monday voters will head to the polls as many of the presidential candidates have spent time campaigning in the Hawkeye state.
His chief challenger in the Republican race is Ted Cruz.