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Muslim Democratic club leader is a vocal Trump supporter

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Welcome to Trump’s America!

A high-ranking Muslim officer in political club Brooklyn Democrats for Change is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and his controversial immigration ban.

Kathy Khatari, the club’s vice president an Irish-Catholic Bay Ridgite who converted to Islam after marrying a Yemeni-American, defended The Donald’s order barring entry to the U.S. from citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries to the New York Times on Jan. 29, saying that she’d “take inconvenience for safety.”

The move could pose a problem for club founder and Democratic district leader Kevin Peter Carroll, who has just announced a run for term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile’s Bay Ridge seat, according to a neighborhood Democratic operative.

“It’s problematic for that club and I would not be surprised if Kevin wanted to throw his hat in the ring, a campaign would make strong note of the fact that his club has a [vice] president who supports Donald Trump, and I think it would be hung around his neck and be a huge weight around him,” the source said.

But Carroll said the club welcomes different ideologies — even wildly different ones — and Khatari doesn’t speak for him or the club as a whole.

“There’s no litmus test when a person becomes active in our club,” Carroll said. “If you’re talking about the Democratic club as a whole, it was strongly for Hillary Clinton. The proof is in the pudding. Kathy doesn’t speak for Brooklyn Democrats for Change. I should be judged if I run for city council on what I do — not what people in an organization do. I think it’s wrong to equate my run for City Council based on what other people do.”

Club president Amanda Pizzuti is a “vocal proponent of Secretary Hillary Clinton and opposes President Trump’s recent executive orders,” according to club member Seamus Campbell.

Khatari did not respond to requests for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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