Locals react to Trump's proposed ban on Muslims

Published: Dec. 9, 2015 at 2:22 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 at 2:55 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - On Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump doubled down on his decree that, if president, he would prevent Muslims from entering the U.S.

"They want our buildings to come down. They want our cities to be crushed. I am saying, until we figure this out, we should have a ban," Trump said.

His proposed across-the-board ban comes after the terrorist attacks in Paris and California. But some believe Trump's words are cut from the same cloth as the terrorists he opposes.

"If you think about it, ISIS uses the exact same type of paint brush mentality and paints everyone who does not believe in their mentality, who does not follow their ideology - whether they are Muslim or not - they paint everyone else with the same paint brush that the Muslims in America are being painted with by people like Donald Trump," said Imam Abdur Rahman Bashir.

Bashir leads the Jefferson Muslim Association. He said his own congregation fears ISIS just as much as, if not more than, most.

"We are the biggest victims of the radicalized ideology and interpretation of Islam," he said. "We will stand together and do whatever it takes as citizens of the United States of America to help our local and national law enforcement to combat this fear and terror."

"Even to think we should require people of a certain faith to be treated differently solely because of their faith, not only is unconstitutional, but it is morally wrong," said ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman.

Esman likens Trump's remarks to hate speech and racial profiling. But with a double-digit lead in the latest CNN poll among New Hampshire primary voters, it's hard to deny that Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric has support.

"It's frightening to me that people who want to hold the highest office in this country have so little understanding of the constitutional principles on which this country was founded," Esman said.

On Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a statement calling Trump's remarks "disgraceful."

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