Nida Allam is a North Carolina delegate and regional field director for Sanders’ campaign. On Tuesday, Hillary’s campaign tweeted this picture of Nida with the caption “We made history.” But here’s the thing: Nida is wiping away her tears at the moment Bernie Sanders conceded — not because Hillary became the democratic nominee.
Hillary’s campaign used the photo to pander to Muslims voters. And in this case, not only did her campaign not ask for permission to post this picture, but they still haven’t taken it down.
Nida told Mic, “I was upset that my emotions were being used by her when she did not truthfully earn my vote,” Allam said in a phone interview. “She is getting it solely by default.”
Nida also responded to the tweet, saying, “guess you didn’t get the memo……#StillSanders #ImanImmigrant #ISupportPalestinianRights,” getting over 1k retweets and a lot of support from people on Twitter. And yet, the picture is still up.
I talked to Nida about her thoughts on how her picture was misconstrued to carry out an agenda that she didn’t want to partake in.
MuslimGirl: What do you think Hillary’s campaign team thought they would accomplish by using your picture?
I think the image checked off some boxes for them. A weeping young Muslim woman with brown skin. They wanted it to try to portray Hillary supporters as diverse.
How did you find out about this picture?
I started getting a bunch of mentions by my friends, texts and Facebook messages saying, “Check Twitter now!”
Do you feel like it’s hypocritical for her to champion women’s issues but refusing to take down the picture and respect your agency and wishes, even though you publicly stated that you’re still a Sanders supporter?
It is hypocritical and opportunistic of her.
I believe American politicians are too afraid to stand by Muslims. That is why I felt so strong about Senator Sanders, because he stood by us — he wasn’t afraid to speak about Islam in a positive light.
Has anyone from Hillary’s team tried to reach out to you?
They responded to my original tweet apologizing for the mixup but have not taken it down or contacted me privately.
Which issues and/or what would you like Clinton to address, and why do you believe that people are hesitant to rally behind her?
Hillary needs to address the danger of her using the term Islamic terrorism. She is joining the rhetoric that attaches Muslim to ISIL, which only feeds into what they want the narrative of us vs. them. She needs to accept that Palestine is being illegally settled, that the U.S. cannot be funding the Israeli Defense Forces killing and displacing thousands of innocent Palestinians — mostly women and children.
As president of the United States, she needs to realize she isn’t just representing white Americans. We are a melting pot country — most of us are immigrants or have immigrant parents. So when she supports the illegal settlements in Israel, she is supporting the killing and displacement of the families of American citizens who are in Palestine.
How do you think Clinton can earn the trust of Muslim voters?
She needs to speak up against the xenophobic rhetoric and not use the term Islamic terrorism because that term only helps the divide and creates a connection between our peaceful religion and the horrendous acts of demagogues.
What were you doing at the DNC?
I’m a Sanders delegate from North Carolina.
How were you treated by others in attendance?
I was treated okay, and poorly sometimes. The Hillary delegates would get very rude and condescending after Bernie conceded and I was still wearing my Bernie pin. The volunteers were snatching Bernie signs and Palestine signs of out of people’s hands.
As a veiled Muslim involved in politics, do you ever believe that you’re actively being silenced or that your voice isn’t being heard?
I believe American politicians are too afraid to stand by Muslims. That is why I felt so strong about Senator Sanders, because he stood by us — he wasn’t afraid to speak about Islam in a positive light, like it should be.
We have been involved in so many wars that led to the deaths of millions of Muslims, this country has continuously connected Muslims to attackers who falsely claim they follow Islam but cringe at the alignment of Christians to the KKK.
So do you believe that Bernie addressed issues pertaining to Muslim communities better than Hillary? Why do you think politicians are afraid of standing up for Muslims?
I do believe Bernie stood up for Muslims before because he spoke up about the issues that affected us both in America and internationally.
Politicians are afraid to stand up for Muslims because of the xenophobic rhetoric that aligns us to terrorist organizations. If they stand up for us, the people who spread that xenophobic rhetoric will attempt to paint the image of them supporting terrorists.
It takes a strong leader to break through that and realize that what’s right is what matters.
Do you have any advice for Muslim women that are trying to get involved in politics?
I want to tell Muslim women to stand up and be proud that we stand out. Your voice is rare, so make it heard, make yourself seen. Don’t let the fear stop you from achieving your dreams, because that’s means they’ve won.
What did you learn from being at the DNC?
I learned that the two party system is flawed and we have a lot of work to do to fix the issues in the system and make the government work for the majority of Americans.