Muslims criticize Trump's proposal to keep them out of US
Posted December 8, 2015 4:33 p.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2015 6:57 p.m. EST
Cary, N.C. — U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," immigrants and visitors alike, because of what he describes as hatred among "large segments of the Muslim population" toward Americans.
Dr. Nadia Pasha, who lives in Cary with her family, said she fears they or the local Muslim community could be targeted because of such rhetoric.
"I try not to bring the fear out. I feel like that's what everyone wants, is for the fear to come out, and hatred dwells when you fear," Pasha said Tuesday.
Pasha, a physician at Duke Raleigh Hospital who came to the U.S. 15 years ago, said she and her husband teach their three children, ages 11, 9 and 3, to be kind, work hard and love their country – just like every other family.
"I feel very blessed to living in a place where you can, if you choose to, enjoy so much diversity and know about so many different cultures and still yet all be American and still all be different," she said. "I think that's what's great about American."
The political firestorm hasn't yet reached Pasha's children, she said, noting that they have friends from all backgrounds and religions.
"They don't talk about it," she said. "When they're playing basketball, all that matters is who's winning and who's good and who's like LeBron James, and it's got nothing to do with religion or anything."
As for Trump, she said simply that she pities him. "It's sad that he's so ignorant, living in a country with so much diversity."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press asked Muslims around the world for their thoughts on Trump's proposal:
AYOUB MUSTAFA, a 42-year-old major with the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces battling the Islamic State group, said Trump's rhetoric reminded him of that of the Islamic State group, known also as Daesh, after its Arabic language acronym.
"This man is encouraging the same kind of hatred as Daesh."
FERAS ALI ABOU GHABEN, a 30-year-old Palestinian American stock broker:
"Trump has managed to gain votes through hate speech. I do not see anyone doing anything about it and that scares me. What terrified me even more was the applause that came after his speech."
AHMED YOUSRI, a 23-year-old banker in Cairo, says Trump's proposal may play into the hands of the Islamic State and help the extremist group find more recruits.
"We must also blame our media and religious leaders for not preventing extremist thought from expanding. That is their role and they are not taking it as seriously as they should. But what Trump is doing is giving IS a more legitimate cause for its existence. It will justify their acts and help them recruit people."
AMR ALI, a 30-year-old chemist living in Cairo:
"The idea by itself is insulting and offensive. If they are going to ban all Muslims because of the people that Muslim terrorists killed, then let's ban all Europeans because the people who were killed during colonial times."
IMTISAL AHMED, a student of linguistics at the NUML university in Islamabad, linked Trump's proposal to last week's killings in California by Pakistan-born female shooter Tashfeen Malik and her husband.
"We admit that she has done a very bad thing, but the whole Muslim nation should not be punished over one bad act of some individual. If this ban is imposed, many students won't be able to go and study in the United States."
ADHAM HAMADA, 34-year-old Cairo businessman who works in adventure travel:
"How will they know if I'm Muslim or not. It's not in my passport. That's why I feel it's just political talk."
BASSEM YOUSSEF, former talk show host known as the Jon Stewart of the Middle East:
(On Twitter) "I didn't know Donald Trump was fluent in Nazi."
NAWAZISH ALI, a taxi driver in Islamabad:
"Politicians before elections make controversial statements, and I don't think anyone should take the statement of this American presidential candidate seriously."
AASIM SALMAN, 47-year-old owner of a coffee shop in Baghdad:
"I visited the coffee shops in the U.S. and saw many Americans sitting there, smiling and laughing. I don't see any difference between us, why does Trump want to divide us?"
AMR KHALIFA, 29-year-old banker and business owner in Cairo who was planning to travel to Las Vegas and Miami next summer with friends, speaking in English:
"Actually, since the events in France happened, I've been thinking that 2016 or so is going to suck for a single, Muslim Arab dude getting a visa anywhere in the world, basically."
USAMA SALLAH, prominent Palestinian businessman in Jerusalem who lived in the U.S. for 14 years:
"I will continue to visit the United States whenever possible because I know that America is a great country in which there is no place for such racist opinions. And for those who agree with him, I ask: How would you feel if Arab and Muslim countries decided to ban Americans from entering them?"
AZIZA YOUSEF, a computer science professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
"Why is it that when there are crazy people who happen to be Muslim, they blame all Muslims? I will not be responsible for someone who commits a crime who happens to be a Muslim. I will not defend myself or defend Islam because a guy or person who happens to be Muslim did something stupid."
SOMCHAI JEWANGMA, an officer with Thailand's Sheikhul Islam Office, which governs the country's Muslims:
"It's true that there are Muslim extremists, those who don't have good intentions for Islam. But there are 1.7 billion Muslim people in the world. If we were all bad, then the world would be uninhabitable."
AZRA KHAN, president of the Canberra Islamic Center in Australia, said Trump's proposal is the wrong way to address last week's attack in California:
"He could better improve the situation if he were to say, 'Let the U.S. take guns more seriously and ban them.' That one simple solution would be much more suitable and make the streets of America far safer."
KEYSAR TRAD, the chairman of the Sydney-based Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said Trump's statement reflected political desperation.
"Donald Trump's statement is a desperate statement by a desperate man who knows that he's clutching at straws and has no chance of winning the election. So he's trying to win it off the back of the Islamophobia industry."
Associated Press writers Salar Salim in Irbil, Iraq; Anusonadisai Nattasuda in Bangkok; Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia; Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Nour Youssef, Nariman el-Mofty and Maram Mazen in Cairo; Muneeza Naqvi in New Delhi; Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan; Mohammad Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank; Nini Karmini in Jakarta; Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Afghanistan; Munir Ahmed in Islamabad; Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad; Lynsey Chutel in Johannesburg and Aya Batrawy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, contributed to this report.