Donald Trump has gotten a lot of political mileage out of his anti-Muslim rhetoric. He has told crowds at his campaign stops that he wants to ban Muslims from entering America, and he would also like to have Muslims in the country registered and marked.
Even as Trump curries favor with a select group of Americans, those opinions have drawn plenty of opposition from the rest of society. Detroit Lions starters Ameer Abdullah and Isa Abdul-Quddus are among those who take issue with Trump's tough stance. Both are practicing Muslims.
"Trump says a lot of things for shock value to get people to hear him and listen to him and stuff -- just to put his face in the public," Abdul-Quddus said, according to MLive.com. "So I don't really feel much disrespect when he said that, 'cause he already said he wanted to label us -- he wanted everybody to have an ID and everything.
"I just kind of chalk it up as a guy that's pretty ignorant."
Both Abdullah, a running back, and Abdul-Quddus, a safety, can choose to ignore Trump's comments, but they know they have to face how his comments inflame the rest of society. Anti-Muslim sentiment poses a threat to how they are perceived by the public, and Trump's comments could help perpetuate stereotypes within society.
"He'll say some things, and the large following that he has -- he has a very large following -- is kind of disappointing, from my perspective," Abdullah said. "But I just encourage everyone to educate yourself before you take a stance on something you may not know about."
The danger comes into play when Trump's radical comments seem to increase his support among the public. Trump may have extreme views, but those views are helping him build his base of support.
"That's the scary part," Abdul-Quddus said. "I just pray that Americans have a better mindset than to think all Muslims are evil. Because, you know, there's a lot of Muslims doing great things out there, and a lot of Muslims doing great things for America.
And as difficult as this time has been for both Abdullah and Abdul-Quddus, they know they have one thing working in their favor: Their skin color. Being African-Americans instead of Middle Eastern-Americans, they aren't subjected to the same types of profiling as other Muslims. But that struggle is one they share within the Muslim community, and it's a storm they must weather nonetheless.
"This is a tough thing to deal with -- just being alienated," Abdul-Quddus added. "There's a lot of people that is struggling with this. I can say it's easier for me, because I'm of African-American descent. But someone who is of Middle Eastern descent, being Muslim, now people are a little more nervous [around them] because they feel like those guys are doing the dirt -- when in reality, it's just a group of evil people. It's tough."