Sanders Embraces Muslim Student, Vows Fight Against Islamophobia
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday touted his Jewish faith in an effort to demonstrate his personal commitment to fight against racism and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the 2016 race for president.
During a town hall meeting with students at George Mason University in Virgina Wednesday night, Sanders left the podium to embrace an American-Muslim student who complained about the rising tide of Islamophobia in the U.S. and the hurt she feels when she hears anti-Muslim rhetoric from other presidential candidates.
“Being an American is such a strong part of my identity, but I want to create a change in this society,” the student, identified as Remaz Abdelgader, said. “I’m so tired of listening to this rhetoric saying I can’t be president one day, that I should not be in office. It makes me so angry and upset. This is my country.”
Sanders called her up the on stage, gave her a hug and asked her to join him at the podium for his answer.
“Let me be very personal here if I may,” he started off in a rare moment of openness. “I’m Jewish. My father’s family died in the concentration camps. I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism which has existed for far too many years.”
“Our job is to build a nation in which we all stand together as one people,” the presidential hopeful continued. “And you are right, there is a lot of anger being generated, a lot of hatred being generated against Muslims in this country, that’s absolutely correct,’ There is hatred being generated against immigrants in this country. And if you stand for anything we have got to stand together and end all forms of racism.
Sanders pledged, “I will lead that effort as president of the United States.”