By Julie Zauzmer
To the teens watching the presidential candidates debating on TV, something seemed oddly familiar.
“They think he’s rich, he’s successful,” Henna Chiknawari said about Donald Trump. Frohar Alemi chimed in, “I see Donald Trump more as a comedian.”
Hushna Saleh said, “The reason people watch a debate nowadays is they want to hear a joke, or one candidate firing at the other.”
And then Gazwa Tarar declared: “They’re like high school girls!”
Tarar should know. She is one.
To these girls at Al-Qalam Academy in Springfield, Va., and to so many other children, this presidential election cycle is reshaping their ideas of how grown-ups act. Candidates running for president
sometimes talk about each other’s private parts, they’ve learned. Sometimes they insult each other’s wives, jest about violence and sling playground-style sobriquets.
Among all the parents and teachers struggling to explain this campaign to their children, Muslim Americans have perhaps the hardest job.
What do you tell your child when the Republican front-runner says on TV, “I think Islam hates us”? What do you say when another challenger says police should be patrolling Muslim neighborhoods?
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