MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made waves Monday when he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.”
In his statement, Trump said he wants the shutdown because he says there is great hatred towards Americans by the Muslim population.
And he said he wants the shutdown to last until America can determine where this hatred is coming from and why.
Muslims in the Twin Cities have since reacted to Trump’s comments, including Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR Minnesota.
“Number one, we shouldn’t be divided. Number two, American-Muslims are no different than anyone else,” Hussein said.
CAIR Minnesota is a civil rights group that addresses American-Muslim issues.
“When Donald Trump made those statements, I think not only Muslims were surprised, but an entire nation was surprised,” he said.
Hussein calls Trump’s statement alarming and divisive. And at least one law expert feels it is unconstitutional.
“It’s not legally feasible. In fact it would violate three separate provisions of the law,” Joseph Daly, a former Hamline University law professor, said.
Daly says what Trump is suggesting violates First Amendment rights, immigration laws and even some International treaties.
“I don’t think there is a constitutional scholar in the United States that would say this is constitutional,” Daly said.
Still, Hussein says Muslims in the Twin Cities have felt the backlash over the past year. He says hate crimes have gone up and he points to the case of a Muslim woman who was attacked with a beer mug at a Coon Rapids Applebee’s.
“Many of our mosques and centers are more alert,” Hussein said.
He says his organization strongly supports President Obama’s war on ISIS.
“As the president said, it’s time for people of all faiths to stand up against discrimination and hate,” Hussein said.
He says what Trump is suggesting is exactly what ISIS and other groups want because it creates a divide.
Hussein also says American Muslims are interested in protecting national security, and he is encouraging people to reach out to Muslim neighbors and get to know them better.