JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With the signing of President Donald Trump's executive order banning all travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, members of the Islamic Center of Jonesboro said they are concerned about the effects.
Abdurahman Muhammad Al-Harbi, Imam of the center said this adds to the problems the Muslim population is already facing.
"Muslims, in particular, are victims of terror and Islamophobia, making people hate us," said Al-Harbi. "Making this policy makes life more difficult on Muslims.
Al-Harbi said he feels this nation is about opening arms up to those running from terrorism in their countries.
"Refugees are victims," said Al-Harbi. "America must side with freedom and liberty. What happened to the compassion that the nation built on it?"
He added that he understands the concept of national security but feels the media and people will take this policy and continue to point a finger at the Muslim community.
"The teachings of Islam forbid tarnishing innocent blood so it bothers me when people look at the heinous crimes of people in our faith and point the finger at all of us like we are the villain," said Al-Harbi. "When that man shot nine worshipers in that church, nobody looked at the Christian faith in a bad light."
Al-Harbi also said having this policy in place disrupts the lives of innocent people who came to the United States for a reason. He said the way the policy was executed does not represent America.
"They came to this country because this country stands for freedom," said Al-Harbi. "For equality. For great things and for dreamers and to put a policy that will disrupt the life of an individual or the people, it is something that all of America should stand against. Even those who have green cards are being denied and that shows this policy was not implemented right."
Al-Harbi said he feels refugees are vetted in a very scrutinized way and that some politicians are not educated about their situation nor the concept of the Muslim faith.
He feels this is why the policy was so easy to enact.
"Some politicians are out of touch with the people," said Al-Harbi. "If politicians saw or tried to see the good in us, we wouldn't have this division that is still being created."
Al-Harbi said he also wanted to extend his condolences to those killed and injured in the mosque terror attack in Canada.
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