Ahmed Rehab: Terrorism should not be conflated with Islam

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of Chicago Office of Council on American-Islamic Relations, spoke on rising anti-Muslim sentiment in America in the wake of recent terror attacks.

"I have concerns and fears for the safety of my community. I know many people who are afraid of going out because they look visibly Muslim. There have been incidents of people being harassed or targeted just because of their appearance," Rehab said.

A Bloomberg Politics poll shows 65 percent of Republican primary voters favor Donald Trump's proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. When asked about the poll's results, Rehab said there is a larger underlying issue.

"Donald Trump is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a larger problem in this country - conflating terrorism with Islam. Not being able to understand that Islam is a faith practiced by 1.6 billion people, peacefully. ISIS and Al Qaeda are groups, or essentially cults, that are aberrational - not within the normative mainstream, but in the radical fringe - that most Muslims around the world condemn and are victims of," Rehab said.

Rehab also reiterated the difference between people who practice Islam the way the prophet Muhammad preached it and people "who are politically motivated, who hide under the cloak of religion in order to further their very narrow, political radical agenda."
Related topics:
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.