Pro-Islamic organization calls for meeting with Gov. Robert Bentley after “insensitive” comments

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Syrian Refugees

The Alabama Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Alabama) Thursday called for a meeting between Gov. Robert Bentley and representatives of Alabama’s Muslim community to discuss the governor’s remarks they said were “inflammatory” and “insensitive” in his Tuesday night State of the State address.

During his speech, Bentley discussed the failure of the federal government to follow the law in consulting with states on the refugee resettlement program — an issue he’s been fighting for months.

“The outdated program – which predates any recent acts of radical terrorism – allows refugees from the most radical nations to enter countries including the U.S. with little known about them,” Bentley said during his address.

“Among those refugees are those who would commit the most violent, deadly and extreme acts of terrorism. When 130 people were slaughtered, in Paris at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists, among those killers was a refugee from a terrorist nation.”

Khaula Hadeed, CAIR-Alabama’s executive director, said the governor’s statements marginalize an entire community.

“Governor Bentley’s labeling of an entire Muslim-majority nation as ‘terrorist’ effectively equates Islam with terror and promotes prejudice,” said Hadeed in a news release. “The use of inflammatory language that marginalizes an entire community reduces one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent human history to the status of a political football. We find such terminology insensitive and inappropriate.

“Alabama has a large Muslim population, including a thriving Syrian-American community making substantial contributions to improving the lives of the people of our state. Using stereotypical terms that paint a diverse multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial Muslim community with such a broad brush is derogatory and dehumanizing.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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