Party plays down threats

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

A se­nior Repub­li­can over­seas leader has urged the Mid­dle East not to judge Don­ald Trump by the out­landish pledges made dur­ing his cam­paign, af­ter the busi­ness ty­coon's shock vic­tory.

Joshua Atkin­son was speak­ing af­ter Hil­lary Clin­ton con­ceded de­feat yes­ter­day and Trump pre­pares to head for the White House. Trump won with 289 elec­toral votes to Clin­ton’s 218.

Among the con­cerns is Trump’s prom­ise to tem­po­rar­ily ban Mus­lims from the US.

He also spoke about “ex­treme vet­ting” for im­mi­grants.

Atkin­son, Di­rec­tor of the Repub­li­can Over­seas – UAE, sought to play down Trump’s rhetoric.

He said: “It’s not a re­li­gious ban. He wants to fol­low stricter im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies. It’s not about Mus­lims, Jews or Chris­tians.

“He never in­tended a Mus­lim ban.

“It was fo­cused on ter­ror­ists us­ing the name of Is­lam.

“He wel­comes all im­mi­grants who are prop­erly vet­ted. He loves Mus­lims. He’s go­ing to build stronger re­la­tion­ships with the Mid­dle East.” Atkin­son said it was time to “for­give of­fence”. How­ever, Tony Gra­ham, spokesman for Democrats Abroad – UAE Chap­ter, said Trump had won be­cause he “ap­pealed to peo­ple’s anger” about a slug­gish econ­omy and job in­se­cu­rity. Gra­ham said: “If he is fool­ish enough to place a ban based on any na­tion­al­ity, re­li­gion or type of per­son, there will be ri­ots on the streets in the US. It will be un­con­sti­tu­tional. “The worst thing about Don­ald Trump is that you have no idea what he’s go­ing to do. If he feels like do­ing some­thing and if it feeds his own per­sonal in­ter­est, he’ll do it.” “I would also like ev­ery­one to know that ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­can ex­pats in the UAE are democrats. “They are ab­so­lutely against the vile cam­paign run b y Don­ald Tr um p, in­clud­ing his com­men ts against women, race and re­li­gion. Amer­i­cans over­seas do not stand for that.”

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