Among those most affected by Donald Trump's presidency have been America's 3.3 million Muslims. As Trump nears the 100th day of his administration, Muslim Americans in Paterson, New Jersey say they are fearful that he ''might do something overnight that we wouldn't expect.'' Nathan Frandino reports.
It may be hard to detect on the surface, but life is far from serene for Muslims living in Paterson, New Jersey. They watch President Trump and listen to his pronouncements very carefully. ...and as they look back at his first 100 days in office, Muslim leaders here say the community remains on edge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OMAR AWAD, PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC CENTER, SAYING: "There's still a fear that this administration is very volatile and might do something overnight that we wouldn't expect." Omar Awad is the president of the Passaic County Islamic Center. He says many in the community are disappointed with Trump's start in office. Though many are not surprised. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Trump had Muslims on his radar long before he entered the White House. And then, as president, he signed executive orders restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries... efforts halted by federal courts... much to the relief of those in Paterson. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ABIR KHANDAKER, MUSLIM AMERICAN, SAYING: "What's great about this country is that we have these checks and balances, so he can't just go and do whatever he wants, right, just like what we saw with the Muslim ban." But it's also Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric that gives Awad cause for concern. The Council on American-Islamic Relations says reports of Islamophobic profiling at airports and other ports of entry have increased by more than a thousand percent since Trump became president. And the City University of New York recorded 60 incidents targeting Muslims in the U.S. between the election and the end of January. Those incidents are finding their way into conversations in Paterson. (SOUNBDITE) (English) OMAR AWAD, PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC CENTER, SAYING: "We found that a lot of parents are asking about the safety of their kids at school. Some of the issues they were having, some of the conversations that now are taking place at schools are very alarming." But some in Paterson appear willing to give Trump a chance, or at least more time to hone his message. As Muslims - and Americans - they say they are looking for a more inclusive president.