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Trump supporter calls US Sikh councillor 'terrorist', gets befitting reply

Ravinder Bhalla Source:

Ravinder Bhalla, council president and an attorney refused to be cowed down by the tirade of a Donald Trump supporter.

A supporter of Republican frontrunner for presidential nomination, Donald Trump called a Sikh-American councilman a "terrorist" on Twitter.

Ravinder Bhalla, council member at-large and council president of Hoboken, New Jersey was targeted by Robert Dubenezic, an open supporter of Donald Trump. 

"How the hell did Hoboken allow the guys to be councilman? Shouldn't even be allowed in the US #terrorist," Mr. Dubenezic posted on twitter.

The Indian-origin politician hit right back at the Trump supporter, offering the troll a lesson in what it means to be an American.

"Sir, I am born and raised in America. You clearly don't know what it means to be an American...#ignorant."

The Trump supporter launched the tirade at Mr. Bhalla when he tweeted about his council's work.

"With a lot of the rhetoric we're hearing from people like Donald Trump about Muslim Americans and people who are perceived to be from a Muslim background, I think the spread of Islamophobia from our national leaders sends the wrong message," Mr Bhalla told NBC News.

"I hope this episode shows people that words can be hurtful and that discriminating based on how someone looks shouldn't just be ignored. People should be educated on different faiths and backgrounds so that diversity is celebrated," Mr Bhalla said.

"America is, after all, a nation of immigrants. And if we work together instead of against each other, we'll accomplish so much more," he said.

Many voiced their support of Mr Bhalla, including elected officials US Representative Bonnie Watson-Coleman and Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer, members of the Sikh-American community, and his constituents.

"At the end of the day, I don't hold any malice toward this person. I forgive him for what he said and hope he will educate himself about how his comments can be hurtful and divisive," Mr Bhalla said.

Mr Bhalla is also an attorney and a founding member of the national Sikh Bar Association.

He earned national recognition for leading a successful challenge to the New York Police Department for restricting the religious practice of a Sikh officer, and he successfully challenged the search policy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons after he was asked to remove his turban in order to see a client.

Source NDTV