1. Family Values
My Muslim family has taught me everything I know about what it means to be a family. Muslims regard familial ties as more important than any bond you could ever form by choice, and everything my family does reinforces this belief. We have family dinners all the time, and by family, I mean ALL the family. At an average Masoud gathering, there are over 30 attendees. Believe me, I’ve counted. When people see our family dinners, they ask if it’s a special occasion, a family reunion, is everyone in town for a funeral/wedding? Nope, just it’s just a simple family dinner. A small army, we congregate in my father’s house and laugh and goof off as the dinner is prepared, devoured, and cleared away for coffee and pastries. An overwhelming shower of love and affection washes over me when I step into the threshold, and a gaggle of nieces and nephews come sprinting to greet me and tell me all about their day at school, what video game they’re playing, or ask if I can sneak them a cookie or two. We respect each other and treat each other with kindness and familial affection.
Trump however, has said things that lead one to question the sharp skew of his “family values.” Trump has made suggestive comments regarding his own daughters. During a 2006 taping of The View on ABC, in regards to his own daughter Trump stated that, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her.” In a 1994 appearance on “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous” Trump objectified his then one-year-old daughter, Tiffany Trump’s body. “She’s got Marla’s legs,” he said. Then, he raised his hands to his own chest and cupped them, adding “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet, but time will tell” referring to the future breasts of his own infant child. He has denounced Mexican immigrants as rapists, yet neglected to bring to light that Trump’s own ex-wife, Ivana, during their divorce, used the term “rape” to describe a sexual encounter with her former husband in 1989. Ivana Trump asserted that after he suffered a botched bald spot removal surgery, Trump was furious with her for suggesting the plastic surgeon. She says he violently assaulted her and proceeded to rape her while pulling fistfuls of hair from her scalp.
Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, and Ivanka Trump
The Trump divorce deposition has placed a gag order on Ivana Trump, preventing her from discussing any details of her marriage without Donald Trump’s express permission. In October, a 2006 Access Hollywood tape was leaked that revealed Donald Trump boasting loudly and lewdly about sexually assaulting women, saying he just grabs them and kisses them without waiting for their consent. Following this startling news, many women came forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct over the course of the last few decades. In recent news, a December hearing date has been set bringing charges of child rape against Trump by a woman who asserts Trump raped her when she was 13-years-old while she was being held by notorious billionaire pedophile and then friend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein. Shortly following Election Day, Mr. Trump is due in court to defend himself against these allegations. I’m not sure what Trump thinks family values are, but assaulting your wife, and objectifying your children doesn’t seem to hit the mark.
One of the five pillars of Islam is charity, or “zakat.” It requires every Muslim to donate a minimum of 2.5% of their total assets to charity. It’s an extremely important tenet of Islam that my family and other Muslims adhere to. In addition to financial generosity being a major tenet of the Islamic faith, Muslims practice extreme generosity in their daily life. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve complimented an aunt or a cousin on some accessory or piece of clothing and they immediately start removing said item and try to give it to me. My father has spent decades in the city of El Paso building his business. All the while, he was sending money back home to his mother and his six sisters to make sure they were well taken care of. He and my sisters have spent hours and hours of their free time going over immigration forms and processes to slowly bring my aunts and uncles to the country to pursue a better life. When my tata, (Arabic word for grandmother), comes to stay with us for a few months, she spends up to four days planning and preparing a massive dinner. On the menu is musa khan, a delicious Arabic dish that resembles pizza. On the guest list is every single Muslim in the El Paso county area. My 70+ year old tata spends days making huge slabs of lavash bread by hand, preparing the toppings, and cooking loaf after loaf of musa khan, till our kitchen is filled with dough replicas of the leaning tower of Pisa and the entire block smells of cumin and sumac.
Musa khan, AKA, heaven in circular form
At the same time, Trump believes avoiding his duty to pay federal taxes makes him “smart.” In a presidential debate with democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump boasted that he used a $916 million loss reported on his 1995 income tax returns to forgo paying federal income taxes for several years. Trump is widely considered as the least charitable billionaire. In the time period from 1990 to 2009, Trump donated $6.7 million dollars to charity. Of that figure, $3.7 million went to his own foundation. Trump is not even the largest monetary contributor to his own foundation. Compare $6.7 million dollars to the vast amounts of money other billionaires have contributed to charitable organizations. For example, in 2008, Michael Bloomberg donated a total of $235 million dollars to various charitable organizations. That same year Donald Trump made his most recent donation of $30,000 to his own foundation; he has not personally donated again to the Trump foundation since. Trump claims he has a wealth that exceeds ten billion dollars. Hypothetically, if Trump followed the Islamic principle of zakat, Trump would be required to pay $250 million dollars in charitable donations. My family are not billionaires with hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal yet they seem to have a stronger grip on the fundamentals of generosity than the billionaire Scrooge that is Donald Trump.
A breakdown of financial contributions to the Trump Foundation over the years. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/201...
3. Work Ethic
Muslims value hard work. My father immigrated to the United States from Palestine when he was eighteen years old to go to school. His parents, devout Muslims, pushed him to pursue this ambition despite it meaning their only son would be traveling thousands of miles away from them. From the first day he arrived he enrolled himself in intensive language courses to learn English as fast as possible, began working in the fast food industry to pay for school, and enrolled in college at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Even though he was brand new to the U.S. and spoke almost no English, my father worked as hard as he could to complete school, and get a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. He struggled for decades to get his own business off the ground and make a name for himself in this country, all while supporting his six children, and sending money back home to help his distant family. I’ve seen my father get up at 6:00 AM to get ready for a long day of work, and continue working into night and early morning of the following day, five days a week, and still find the time to plan, prepare, and participate in those family famous Masoud dinners on the weekends. He built his own civil engineering company, Del Rio Engineering, from the ground up, and became a prominent figure in the El Paso city planning process. I learned from an early age the importance of hard work. My father's entrepreneurial spirit echoes that of many immigrants in the U.S., immigrants Trump has referred to as “criminals,” “rapists,” and “drug dealers.”
Trump claims he has a strong work ethic, even though he doesn’t seem to respect hard working individuals. He calls himself an effective business man even though the majority of his businesses have failed, or were built on the backs of small businessmen that he bullied into accepting payments far lower than what he promised to pay. He says he’s a self made man, even though his success in business is completely due to his own father, Fred Trump’s savvy as a businessman. Trump Steaks, GoTrump.com, Trump Airlines, and Trump the board game are just a few of the many business catastrophes headed by Donald that failed miserably, and only got off the ground because Trump’s father created a financial safety net that allowed his son to burn through cash trying (and failing so many times) to be an entrepreneur.
Trump The Game, basically a knock off Monopoly with an Art Deco feel.
Education is an extremely important facet of Islam. Most of my aunts and uncles have some form of higher education, graduating from some of the best schools in the Middle East. One of my aunts, a mother of four, has her bachelor’s degree in Marketing. One of my cousins is attending UTEP for his master’s in electrical engineering. My father, even though he already has a degree in Civil Engineering from UTEP with which he built his successful civil engineering company, went back to school two years ago to obtain his real estate license. He worked all day, and attended classes at night to prepare for his Texas Real Estate exam, on top of all of his other responsibilities. My nieces and nephews, all younger than ten years old, have fantastic grades at Palm Tree Academy, an El Paso based Islamic private school. Not only that, but they are excited about learning and every single time I see them I can count on them coming over to me wielding a book larger than their heads that they found in the study and begging me to let them borrow it so they can spend their free time reading.
Trump, on the other hand, was involved in several accreditation scandals involving Trump University, LLC. This university was not accredited, did not provide college credits, degrees, or grades, yet called itself a University without any legal claim to. Trump University is now totally defunct as of 2010. His manipulation and misuse of the term “University” led many people to waste time and money thinking they were receiving a reputable education when they were really swindled by a money making scheme. Trump doesn’t respect education. As for his own academic prowess, Trump has repeatedly touted his having attended Wharton School of Business, graduating in 1968. Despite claiming such elite intelligence Trump has refused to release his college transcripts. This is rather ironic, considering that during the 2012 election process, he claimed he would donate 5 million dollars to the charity of Barack Obama’s choosing if only the president would release his own college transcripts. The hypocrisy is lost on Trump, surely. He’s also made claims that he graduated top of his class at Wharton, despite a 1984 NY Times story pointing out that Trump was awarded no honors during the 1968 commencement at Wharton. But Trump insists, “I’m, like, a really smart person.”