So after my moderately popular column on Tuesday about prominent Muslims who own units at New York’s Trump-branded buildings, I continued the very tedious search to find more residents who would be majorly inconvenienced (to put it mildly) by his ban. Granted, most Trump buildings now are simply Trump licensing his name to other developers (a license I suspect will plummet in value), but his name is still plastered on the buildings where these wealthy Muslims own units.
If there were a ban on Muslim entry, how would Karim Tabet, owner of joined Units 20F and 20G at Trump Parc, feel? Tabet is a former director of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, which describes itself as a “bridge between the financial sectors in North America and the Middle East-North Africa.” How will the organization he supports operate if the bridge only goes one way?
Another awkward moment would come for Semiha Kibar, owner of Unit 1608 at Trump International and wife of Turkish business mogul Asim Kibar.
And at Trump Palace, a trust in the names of Zahra and Ali Peerbhoy owns Unit 6N. Presumably it is a pied a terre, as the Peerbhoys both work in London, where Ali is an advisor at Fusion Alternative Investment Partners and Zahra is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. Imagine if, say, they ended up losing use of their apartment because of Donald Trump.
Then there is Trump Park Avenue, where a holding company in the name of Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Thani owns Unit 4B. Abdul Aziz is a member of the Qatari ruling family, and Trump might make things awkward on the foreign relations front if the sheikh cannot make use of his apartment.
In fact, given Trump’s anti-Islam rhetoric, he might want to consider the implications of sponsoring a building with a unit owned by Qatari royalty. The emirate was once accused of being a “Club Med for terrorists” by an Israeli diplomat, allegedly funding terrorism. Qatar has denied it, though its ambassador to the US did acknowledge that Qatari private citizens were funneling money to ISIS, helped by weak financial oversight.
So maybe Donald Trump should consider his own connections before denouncing a religion.