Meet Kamal Nawash, One of Trump's Most Unlikely Supporters

A Muslim, an Arab and an immigrant, Kamal Nawash is an unlikely supporter of the Republican party candidate Donald Trump. As the Arabic news outlet Al Jazeera reported Tuesday, the immigration lawyer has been a Republican for years.


Nawash’s immigrant background is a common tale: born in the Occupied West Bank, his father decided to move his family to the United States for better education opportunities. His family opened a grocery store in a poor neighborhood. Now, Nawash is a lawyer in one of Washington, D.C.’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Nawash was first attracted to the Republican party during the Reagan era, a fan of the former president’s small government, pull-up-your-bootstraps message. Speaking about Trump specifically, Nawash told Al Jazeera, "I respect people who understand how to make a deal.” However, he admits that the War on Terror, launched by former Republican President George W. Bush, did make him uncomfortable. "I just thought it was wrong all around," he said of the military campaign. “It didn't shake my belief in the party, but afterwards I started questioning our party leaders."

So when Trump openly criticized Bush’s Iraq war last year, Nawash felt the party had finally found its perfect candidate. "The fact that he said that shows a certain level of independence," the lawyer said. When further probed about his thoughts on Trump’s proposed ban of Muslims, the lawyer was still in defense of the GOP nominee. "He never said, 'I want a ban on all Muslims'", argued Nawash. "He said, 'Let's look at this in light of the terrorist attacks'." As a lawyer, Nawash doesn’t think a policy like that could ever actually happen and that this statement of Trump’s was to help him win votes during the primaries. As a Muslim, however, Nawash said, “I would be satisfied if he never mentions it again." Still, Nawash isn’t the only Muslim supporter of Trump. A survey conducted back in February by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found that 7.5 percent of registered Muslim voters would cast their ballot for Trump.

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