- Title: U.S. religious leaders denounce Trump refugee plan
- Date: 25th January 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 25, 2017) (REUTERS) WIDE OF NIHAD AWAD, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CAIR (COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIHAD AWAD, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CAIR SAYING: "Make no mistake - whatever language is used in President Trump's executive orders on refugees, immigration and visa programs - Muslims are the sole targets of these orders. â€œThese orders are a disturbing confirmation of Islamophobic and un-American policy proposals made during the presidential election campaign. Never before in our country's history have we purposely - as a matter of policy - imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion, or imposed a religious litmus test on those coming to this nation. WIDE OF AWAD SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIHAD AWAD, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CAIR SAYING: "This ban does not make our country safer. Instead, it serves to stigmatizes Muslim refugees and the entire American Muslim community. It will hand a propaganda tool to our enemies who promote the false notion of an American war on Islam. We have already seen an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim bigotry in recent months. The negative perceptions and association created by these orders will very likely cause a further increase in hate crimes, discrimination and bigotry against ordinary law-abiding American Muslims. WIDE OF RABBI JOSEPH BURMAN (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABBI JOSEPH BURMAN, JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE SAYING: "People of conscience everywhere, everywhere must resist these actions and fight back on these racist attacks. You must speak to all of our elected officials on a national level in the Senate in the House of Representatives and on a local level in our cities and our states everywhere, they also must stand strong against these policies and show that we will, we will, recognize the basic dignity and worth of every single human being, we will stand against this hate and this racism." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABIAH AHMAD, MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR FOR THE MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL SAYING: "As Americans we do not ban register or deport people based on how they pray or the color of their skin. As Americans we cannot turn away men and women and children who are seeking refuge and are escaping persecution violence and war. It is our hope that in the upcoming days that fellow partners in our communities will continue to stand loud stand proud and stand loud against these policies and these issues." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) REVEREND STEVEN MARTIN, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES SAYING: "I can't even believe that things are getting as bad as they are. I cannot believe that state sponsored persecution against a class of Americans is taking place. I cannot believe it even though I've been watching it grow, I cannot believe it."
- Embargoed: 8th February 2017 20:15
- Keywords: Trump refugee plan refugee ban CAIR news conference CAIR reax
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00160KZ2O7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. religious leaders sounded the alarm on Wednesday (January 25) denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to ban visas to people immigrating from primarily Muslim nations.
Trump is expected to take steps in the coming days to limit legal immigration, including executive orders restricting refugees and blocking the issuing of visas to people from several Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and North African countries including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
His plans, which he has said are necessary to protect Americans from crimes committed by illegal immigrants, prompted an immediate outcry from immigrant advocates who said Trump was jeopardizing the rights and freedoms of millions of people.
Niwad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) told reporters Wednesday the Trump proposal will reinforce Islamophobia and was not synonymous of American ideals.
"These orders are a disturbing confirmation of Islamophobic and un-American policy proposals made during the presidential election campaign. Never before in our country's history have we purposely - as a matter of policy - imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion, or imposed a religious litmus test on those coming to this nation," he said.
Rabbi Joseph Burman urged Americans to fight the "racist" proposals. "People of conscience everywhere, everywhere must resist these actions and fight back on these racist attacks."
Trump signed two executive orders at the Department of Homeland Security, one ordering construction of a wall along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border and the other moving to strip federal grant money from "sanctuary" states and cities, often governed by Democrats, that harbor illegal immigrants.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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