WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed remarks by President Barack Obama rebuking Donald Trump for his repeated use of anti-Muslim rhetoric and said such rhetoric undermines American values.
CAIR also invited the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to a Ramadan fast-breaking meal (iftar) to hear American Muslims explain why his rhetoric is having a negative impact on their community and the entire nation.
The president said today:
"And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims as a broad brush, and imply that we are at war with the entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists' work for them. . .We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America. And you hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complacent in violence.
"Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer – they were all U.S. citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim-Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating them because of their faith?. . .That's not the America we want."
Video: President Obama Repudiates Donald Trump's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric
The president's remarks were in reaction to Trump's speech Monday in which he repeated and enhanced his past anti-Muslim rhetoric.
"We welcome President Obama's principled defense of both the American Muslim community and the American values of religious freedom and respect for diversity," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We call on Donald Trump to end his use of divisive anti-Muslim and un-American rhetoric and to respect the Constitution and our nation's religious and ethnic pluralism."
Awad added: "In the spirit of the month of Ramadan, we invite Mr. Trump to CAIR's Capitol Hill office to share an iftar, or fast-breaking meal, to discuss the negative impact his rhetoric has on ordinary American Muslims and on the nation's unity."
He also called on GOP leaders to denounce Trump's "unhinged political rhetoric that is hurting America domestically and isolating it abroad."
Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump's continued use of a debunked myth about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig's blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.
SEE: CAIR Says Trump's Continued Use of 'Pig's Blood' Myth Endangers American Muslims
CAIR has previously stated that Trump's pig's blood claim and other instances of his Islamophobic rhetoric, including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that "Islam hates us," his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Trump's bigoted call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)