Muslim-American student is voting for Clinton amid anti-Muslim rhetoric of 2016 campaign

Sarah Philips

Mannan Ali, corporate communications senior and president of the Ismaili Muslim Students Association, is a political independent who normally leans Republican on economic matters and disagrees with the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s stance on abortion. Yet this election, he is voting for Clinton because of the rhetoric Trump has introduced to the national conversation. 

“When I say Donald Trump’s campaign is fueled by hatred, it’s literally hatred,” Ali said. “It’s bigotry to the highest extent. He’s finding people who have hate for Hispanics, for Muslims, different races and different genders. He’s fueling the wrong conversation.”

Ali mentioned Trump’s conflict with the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and said it was one of the examples of Trump’s offensive comments. Ali also said Trump’s campaign incited anti-Muslim sentiment in a way that the U.S. has never seen before.

“Now people are actually scared of Muslims,” Ali said. “The actions of a few people shouldn’t paint the picture for an entire religion. [Americans are] not trying to find Muslims, we’re trying to find radical terrorists who say they’re ‘Muslims’ but they’re actually not. They’re radical terrorists and that’s what they should be called.”

While opposed to Trump, Ali is voting for Clinton with a couple of caveats, namely how the former Secretary of State handled the Benghazi situation and her stance
on abortion. 

“I think you’re picking the lesser evil,” Ali said. “With either one you’re still going to be in the wrong. I don’t think what she did in [Benghazi] was right. But when there is a crisis and something goes wrong and someone has to make that tough difficult decision in 10 minutes, who would you want? Who would you rather be in that situation? When you break it down to that scenario, I think it’s easy to see Clinton would make the wiser choice.”