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Arabic-language billboard taunts 'scared' Trump

Billboard near Dearborn, home to large numbers of Arab Americans, reads: 'Donald Trump, he can’t read this, but he is scared of it anyway'
The billboard was paid for by the Nuisance Committee (Facebook/The Nuisance Committee)

An Arabic-language billboard mocking American presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposals to ban Muslims from entering the US has been posted on a highway in an apparent pitch to local Arab-American voters.

The billboard, which can be seen by drivers approaching Dearborn, Michigan, on Interstate 94, reads: “Donald Trump, he can’t read this, but he is scared of it anyway.”

The poster also features a link to trumpisscared.org, a website paid for by the Nuisance Committee, which describes how Trump’s proposed policy has evolved since he called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December 2015.

The Republican candidate’s position on immigration had been “inconsistent, if not downright illegal”, the website said.

The Nuisance Committee is an independent campaign group known in the US as a super PAC, which has been vocal in its support of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Dearborn has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the US, with about one-third of the city’s 100,000 residents having Arab heritage, according to the 2012 US census.

The town is also home to the Arab American National Museum.

A screengrab taken from the website trumpisscared.org

Melissa Harris, a spokesperson for the Nuisance Committee, told local radio she hoped the billboard would promote dialogue between local Arabic and non-Arabic speakers.

“I like the idea of people who do not speak Arabic having to ask their friends who do speak Arabic to translate the board for them,” she said.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Detroit News that the billboard caught the mood of many Arab Americans and Muslims living in the area.

“This is how people feel in the community. It’s mocking Trump. It’s funny yet very appropriate considering the nonsense Donald Trump has continued to say about Muslims,” he said.

“I have not spoken to a person yet that they’re going to vote for (Trump) in this upcoming election. The general statements are he’s just a racist bigot and not just against people of the Islamic faith, but he made comments against Latinos and women.”

However, the American-Mideast Coalition for Trump, a campaign group backing the Republican candidate, has claimed support among voters in Dearborn and earlier this month posted an image of a local imam sitting behind Trump at a campaign rally.

Michigan has voted Democrat in every presidential election since 1992 and polls suggest Clinton has opened a substantial lead over Trump in the state in recent weeks.