American Muslims took to Twitter to praise Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE after he used the Arabic word “inshallah” during a discussion on President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE’s tax returns during the first presidential debate Tuesday night.
The remark came after the debate moderator, Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE, asked Trump to comment on recent New York Times reporting that the president paid only $750 in federal income taxes per year in 2016 and 2017.
“I’ve paid millions of dollars, and you’ll get to see it,” Trump said, implying that his tax returns would eventually be made available to the public.
“When?” Biden asked.
The former vice president then added, as his campaign later confirmed to NPR, “inshallah,” an Arabic word that translates to “God willing” or “if God wills it.”
Okay, for those of you wondering – did Joe Biden really drop an “inshallah” with the appropriate sarcastic usage?
Yes, he did. I confirmed with his campaign – that is indeed what the man said. https://t.co/MqseBsl2Ck
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) September 30, 2020
American Muslims and others praised Biden on social media, pointing out that the vice president used it in its widely known sarcastic meaning as a way for someone to not fully commit to something they may be hesitant to do.
Some claimed Biden’s remark had inclusionary significance for American Muslims, with Buzzfeed News immigration reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeting that it was “a historic moment in America.”
a historic moment in America — inshallah in a presidential debate
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) September 30, 2020
Joe Biden: “inshallah”
habibis, it’s happening…
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) September 30, 2020
Others, however, criticized Biden’s comical use of the word, which refers to the Muslim belief that nothing will occur unless God wills it to be done.
“Biden’s use of inshallah was kinda colonial and derogatory if you ask me,” journalist Tamer El-Ghobashy said in a tweet.
Biden’s use of inshallah was kinda colonial and derogatory if you ask me.
— Tamer El-Ghobashy (@TamerELG) September 30, 2020
Trump has faced continued criticism from Democrats following the Times’s report on his taxes, with Biden’s campaign releasing a “Trump tax calculator” on its website to allow users to enter the amount they paid in 2017 and produces the number minus $750.
Trump has since denied the reporting, calling it “fake news” and adding that his tax returns will eventually “all be revealed.”
The president has consistently resisted releasing his tax returns to the public, a decades-long tradition among presidential candidates, with Trump citing an ongoing IRS audit as his reasoning for not yet making the documents widely available.