Imam Zaid Shakir, a prominent American Islamic scholar, spoke at the MAS-ICNA Convention that took place in Chicago, IL on December 28-30, 2018. He said that Muslims should thank U.S. President Trump for being open and honest about his dislike for Muslims, unlike President Obama, whom Shakir referred to as “bomber-in-chief.” Shakir criticized President Obama for the “extrajudicial murder” of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his son Abdulrahman. Shakir said that Trump at least openly admits that the U.S. is creating jobs by selling bombs to Saudi Arabia that are being used in Yemen, and he said the Muslims should respond by saying: “I will eat grass! I will be unemployed, I will live in a tent, before I work in a job making a bomb to kill innocent children half-way around the world… To Hell with your job!” Shakir added that “powerful forces” are aligning against innocent humanity and said: “To Hell with your bombers, fighter jets, and nuclear submarines. Take it to Hell with you, because if you don’t repent that’s where you are going.” Zaid Shakir was born Ricky D. Mitchell in 1956 in Berkeley, CA, and he converted to Islam in 1977 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Shakir holds a BA in international relations from American University in Washington, D.C. and an MA in political science from Rutgers University. In addition, Shakir holds a BA in Islamic Sciences from Abu Nour University in Syria. In 2010, Shakir co-founded the Berkeley-based Zaytuna College with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, another prominent American scholar.
Imam Zaid Shakir: Thank Donald Trump for one thing. Thank him for one thing. Thank him for being honest and open with the Muslims. He said: "We are going to have a Muslim ban." He is up front. So you can organize against it. He is not saying, "We love Muslims," and then on the side being the bomber-in-chief like Obama. Obama killed Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, with no trial. Extrajudicial murder. Obama killed Anwar Al-Awlaki. Okay, so Anwar [was involved in] Jihad, okay, whatever Allah wills… What about his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, who did nothing to no one? Why was he extrajudicially killed? What about 16-year-old Tariq Aziz in Waziristan, who was organizing his community to oppose to drones constantly bussing above their head, and was killed? An innocent 16-year-old boy. That was Obama, that wasn't Trump. Trump was out in the open: "I don't like you and I am not faking it." Trump was honest when he said… The economics of war… [He said] we are selling weapons to the Saudis to bomb the Yemenis, because it means American jobs. Honest and straight up. So we should say: "If it means American jobs, I will eat grass! I will be unemployed, I will live in a tent, before I work in a job making a bomb to kill innocent children half-way around the world. So I can have a job… To Hell with your job!" That is the spirit we have to have, because powerful forces align against us. "Us" – meaning innocent humanity. So we have to push back with power: To Hell with your job! To Hell with your bombs! To Hell with your bombers, your fighter jets, and your nuclear submarines! Take it to Hell with you, because if you don't repent that is where you are going.