Edison: New Jersey South Asian Democrats Protest Trump Speech

Raj Mukerji Credits:
Congressman Frank Pallone addresses a group of Trump protestors on Saturday afternoon in Edison. Credits: Sam Berzok for TAP into East Brunswick

EDISON, NJ - Students, lawmakers, and representatives of  Middlesex County witnessed the Hindu and Muslim communities of New Jersey come together to voice their dissent regarding the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump when he spoke at a Hindu musical and cultural event this Saturday. Leaders from Congress, the NJ Legislature, religious temples, local councils, and Rutgers students were all there to protest. Many voices of the South Asian Caucus and community united to counter the Trump rally which accompanied the candidate's speech about international terrorism at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center on Davidson Road in Edison. 

"The South Asian community is smarter than to be pitted against each other by words of hate because together Hindus and Muslims are one! Welcome to Middlesex County, Trump, we hope you enjoy wasting your time here! We are Democrats, and our voices are united as one!" said Raj Mukerji, a former United States Marine and current Democratic Assemblyman from District 33.  Stressing unity among all members of South Asian religious groups, Mukerji quoted a prominent Hindu clergyman: "If you are a Hindu, you are a Muslim.  If you are a Hindu, you are a Christian.  If you are a Hindu, you are a Jew."  The former Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, Mukerji is currently the only South Asian in the New Jersey State Assembly.

Rutgers student leader Mohammed Askar focused on the need for young people, especially South Asians, to participate.  A member of both the Rutgers Student Democrats and the Rutgers Student Assembly, Askar urged "young people - under the age of 35 - to go out and vote."

Sign Up for E-News

Congressman Frank Pallone, D-6,  stressed that "we are strong in our diversity here in New Jersey.  Trump has been degrading women and minorities, and we won't stand for it."

Pallone was joined by Edison Council Vice-President Sapana Shah and Councilman Ajay Patil, who echoed the Democratic party's "stronger together" theme.

Shariq Ahmad, Chief of Staff for Democratic Assemblyman (18) Robert Karabinchak, also joined in the refrain:  "We hope that Trump spends lots of time here in New Jersey because he will be wasting it.  The South Asian community is smarter than to be divided by hate."  Ahmad is currently the only Muslim Chief of Staff for any politician in New Jersey.

Anti-Trump protestors showed up at the event around noon, expecting to be there for the candidate's speech which was scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm.  They were met by Trump supporters at the site, who were also full of energy for the event.  Some of that energy dissipated, though, as Trump did not take the stage until well after 6:00 pm.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick: The History of... The East Brunswick Grange

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - During East Brunswick’s agricultural years, one of the most active organizations in town was the East Brunswick Grange. Granges were fraternities for farmers that helped promote the well-being of farming in the community. There were many granges across the country during the late 19th and early 20th Century, and East Brunswick was certainly no exception. In the period ...

Highland Park: Teen Mom Charged in Death of Newborn

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - In a tragic turn of events, a teenager from Highland Park was charged in a juvenile complaint with murder in the first degree in the death of her newborn son.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that a 14-year-old teenage girl from Highland Park has been charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for an offense which if committed by an ...

Veinott’s Vietnam – Time Flies When You Fly Away

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – It’s been nearly a decade since South Plainfield native Philip Veinott packed his bags and moved over 8,500 miles away to start the next chapter of his life. And, a lot has changed – both personally and professionally – for Veinott in that time. 

In August 2016, Veinott married the love of his life, Helen Nguyen, and the couple is expecting ...

Reps. Watson Coleman, Pallone, Sires and Espaillat Lead Introduction of Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

April 24, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC  — Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) joined co-sponsors Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) to announce The Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2018. This legislation would overturn an outdated 1986 law to build a framework of commonsense standards for handgun gun ownership in the United States by ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 30, 7:00 PM

Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough

Auditions for Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, May 4, 7:30 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Wizard of Oz

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM


Color Me Run to End Domestic Violence

Business Networking Breakfast Returns To East Brunswick Public Library with “Doing Business With The Federal Government” Program

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library’s Business Networking Breakfast returns with another event at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Tuesday, May 8, from 8 to 10:00 am.

In addition to the opportunity to network with other business leaders in the area, the program features representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (S.B.A.) who are ...

“Weather NJ” Founder To Speak At East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Jersey has experienced several historical weather events. The Friends of the Library are hosting the special program “Meteorology & Historical New Jersey Storms” with Weather NJ founder  Jonathan Carr on Thursday, May 17 at 7:30 pm at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center).

The program explains the basics of meteorology, climatology, and a ...

Reading Like Cats and Dogs: EBPL Launches Second “Reading To Action” Program Series

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) begins its second Reading to Action project, which includes a series of events and volunteer projects this April.

The Reading To Action program encourages library customers to be more active in their community. This year's theme is "animals." The library is presenting a variety of programs for ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...