Local Muslims react to charged political rhetoric about their faith

WASHINGTON — Leaders in the local Muslim community say recent language used by GOP presidential candidates and other political leaders is working against dispelling discrimination.

It’s a community all too familiar with prejudice, but Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations says hate crimes and threats against Muslims nationwide are uncomfortably high.

“We’ve seen terror threats to mosques, vandalism at mosques, individual Muslims attacked,” Hooper offers as examples.

Since the attacks on Paris, American political leaders and GOP candidates for president have disparaged Muslims with name calling. Donald Trump suggested Muslims register for a database and be surveilled based of their faith alone.

On Friday, Trump said on Twitter that he didn’t suggest creating such a database but instead was answering a question from a reporter about the idea.

“I think part of the blame for that spike has to go to people like Donald Trump and Ben Carson who are mainstreaming and exploiting Islamaphobia in our nation and giving a rhetorical permission to those who would attack American Muslims,” Hooper says.

While he says his faith is being attacked, he reiterates American Muslims continue to condemn the recent terrorist attacks.

“I hope the fear and hysteria die down and we can deal with issues rationally,” Hooper says.

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