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American Religious Sounds Project

Republican National Convention - protests - debate about Islam

Description

This clip documents a heated exchange about Islam between social activist Micah David Naziri and several passers-by outside of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Micah, who describes himself as a “member of a religious minority,” arrived at the Cleveland Public Square wearing a skullcap, something commonly worn by Muslim men. He was also openly carrying an AR-15. Responding to these visual cues, reporters and antagonists immediately flocked to Micah, questioning him about his religious beliefs and terrorism. However, as is audible in the recording, he refused to identify his religious affiliation, which elicited bigoted, Islamophobic remarks and accusations, specifically about support for ISIS.

Micah’s actions, and the 2016 Republican National Convention, occurred at a time of heightened fear and suspicion of Islam – stoked in part by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, who called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Within this sociopolitical context, Micah’s actions seemed to challenge assumptions about Islam and Muslims while also provoking conflict. Micah is a frequent participant in other protests, including one against President Trump’s first travel ban, which targeted Muslim-majority countries. He also attends protests specifically targeting Islam and tries to engage participants in dialogue. (Lauren Pond)

Event
Republican National Convention - protests - debate about Islam
Community
Location
Cleveland Public Square
City / State
Cleveland, OH
Recordist
Lauren Pond
Recorded On
2016-07-19
Religious Tradition
Muslim, Unspecified
Language
English
Types of Sounds
ambient, multiple voices, protest/rally, speaking
Types of Space
civic space, outdoors
Research Team
Ohio State
Season
summer
Day of Week
Tuesday
Time of Day
afternoon
293155c0ecf8b701bc54
Activist Micah David Naziri at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, where he sought to challenge assumptions and provoke discussion about Islam. Photo by Lauren Pond.
Republican National Convention - protests - debate about Islam
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