Indianapolis Muslims Condemn Terror, Slam Trump's "No Muslims Allowed" Border Plan
Dr. Haroon Qazi (WIBC.com photo)
Hoosier Muslims are condemning both the terror attacks in Paris and California, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from the U.S. in response.
Carmel Senator Mike Delph (R) organized a statehouse news conference with four Indianapolis doctors to denounce the massacres. He says he felt a "moral obligation" to provide a platform for them to reaffirm their love for America and remind Hoosiers not to lump all Muslims with the perpetrators of the last month's attacks.
Neurologist Saad Khairi says American Muslims are eager partners in the fight to crush radicalism. He says the terrorists aren't true Muslims, but have simply used the religion as a pretext for mass murder.
But Khairi says Trump's call to bar the door to Muslims is a personal attack on those who practice the faith. He says it's "terrifying" for the Republican presidential frontrunner to inject into political discourse an idea he says would once have been confined to back rooms.
All five speakers avoided mentioning Trump by name, but the doctors and Delph frequently returned in disbelief to the proposed border ban. Retired Indianapolis plastic surgeon Haroon Qazi wondered aloud if such a policy would bar his son from returning to the U-S from his overseas banking job in Japan.
Despite Trump's popularity, the doctors say they haven't experienced discrimination from the Hoosiers they encounter daily. Endocrinologist Rashid Khairi, Saad Khairi's father, says patients have gone out of their way to ask if he's okay.
Qazi recalls there were threats against his mosque after 9/11, but says he hasn't experienced any other local backlash, in 2001 or now. But Delph says he's talked with other local Muslims who have been wounded both personally and professionally in the wake of the attacks.
Delph says he hopes the G-O-P frontrunner meant to limit his comments to "fanatics" trying to enter the country, and hopes Trump will "clarify" his position. If he meant what he said, Delph says he "categorically rejects" it as "un-American." He notes Qazi was the Army's chief of surgery at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis during the Vietnam War.
The news conference comes a day after Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Baron Hill called on his three potential Republican opponents to disavow what he calls Trump's "hateful, paranoid" stance.