Arish Singh on Interrupting Trump: ‘You Don’t Have to be a Muslim to Stand Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry’

By Sameer Rao Jan 28, 2016

The bearded, turban-wearing Sikh man who recently interrupted a Donald Trump rally finally spoken out about the experience. 

Arish Singh, a writer and comedian, attended a Trump rally in Iowa on Sunday (January 24). His group—which held a banner that said, "Stop Hate"—was booted by security after they interrupted the proceedings. Trump supporters yelled at him, and Trump seemed to reference Singh’s red turban (though he later claimed to be referring to a campaign hat) when he said, "He wasn’t wearing one of those hats, was he?"

Singh spoke to The Daily Beast about the interruption, his motivation for attending the rally and what he experienced as he was expelled from the venue. The whole interview is worth a read, but here are a few quotes that illuminate the extent of his conviction:

“If you don’t get out of here, I’m going to hit you!” barked the 40-something-year-old angry White man at Arish Singh. What did Singh do that made this man want to beat him up? Singh had simply objected to Donald Trump’s Muslim bashing at a campaign rally Sunday in Muscatine, Iowa.


“Social justice and defending people in need is part of the Sikh faith. You don’t have to be a Muslim to stand against anti-Muslim bigotry. Everyone should stand up against bigotry and hate regardless of the target.”


“It’s scarier today for kids growing up who wear a turban or who look Muslim than when I was a kid,” Singh noted. He explained that even in Chicago, which is a diverse city, just last week someone called him a “terrorist” while he was walking along the sidewalk.

Being physically thrown out of a venue while being mocked and threatened by angry Trump supporters and ridiculed by Trump may dissuade some, but not Singh. He’s planning to do even more, commenting that, “Trump is emboldening right-wing white supremacy and a response is needed, even if that means I’m arrested for civil disobedience in calling it out.”

The piece also states that Singh and another protester were escorted out of the venue by local police, who told them that they could be charged for "inciting a riot"—presumably because of some Trump supporters’ penchant for violence against protesters of color

(H/t The Daily Beast)