WHEN US Consul General in Mumbai Thomas Vajda visited a school in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, he faced some tough questions from students — including one on the fate of Muslims if Donald Trump becomes President.
During his visit to the 120-year-old Anjuman-e-Islam School in Astodia locality here, Vajda interacted with students, who asked him a range of questions — from his opinion on the Holy Quran to admission to US colleges.
“If Trump wins, what will be the future of the Muslims in the US, especially Indians who plan to go to the US for a bright future?” asked a girl.
The US diplomat, however, did not take the question and said: “This is not an excuse. This is the truth that because I am a public servant I am not allowed to participate in or speak about politics.”
After his reply was translated into Hindi for the students, he continued: “There is a wide diversity of views in the United States and these presidential candidates reflect their own perspectives. Respecting religions of our citizens and residents of the US is a fundamental priority value enshrined in our Constitution. And I believe those values are widely shared in the United States. This November, American voters will have a choice on how they want to see the future of United States and see who they want to represent those values. We will see what the voters decide.”
Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States has been a central issue of his campaign. Last year in December, after 14 people were killed in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, he had proposed a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
Vajda skipped another query on the US presidential elections — “Who will be the next President, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?”